Megan McDonald is the author of the popular Stink (and of course, Judy) Moody series. Her eighth book in the series is Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout ($12.99, Candlewick, Ages 6-9). Just the title alone should make kids want to read it.
Stink is a really smart boy who just so happens to be afraid of the water. Despite numerous swim classes, he’s just not making progress. Then something strange happens. Frogs start to appear in Stink’s life. First he encounters a three-legged frog in the locker room shower. Then later a frog jumps out of his boot and yet another greets him in the bathtub. All this frogging starts to get a little bit freaky when Stink starts taking on the characteristics of a frog himself – from what and how he eats to how he loves to play in the rain. What about Stink’s fear of swimming? Do his frog encounters help him work through his fears? And is Stink really turning into a frog?
What I particularly like about Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout is that it teaches kids a lot about frogs – what they eat, where they live and environmental issues that are threatening them. Although this is an early chapter book, there are some great black and white illustrations by Peter H. Reyonolds scattered throughout the story as well as several entertaining comics. The Stink series is perfect for reluctant readers since the books are easy to read and are a whole lotta fun.
Stink may just be what your child needs to get hooked on reading. Check out Stink’s awesome website here.
– Reviewed by Debbie Glade