Friday, March 9, 2018

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers; and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine by John Dougherty, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Stinkbomb and his little sister, Ketchup-Face, are in for a prime kerfuffle in this extremely British (and even more extremely silly) new series.

In their first kerfuffle, Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face discover a Horrible Crime: Stinkbomb's twenty-dollar bill has been stolen! They visit King Toothbrush Weasel to find out what's going on and discover that Evil and Wicked badgers are responsible for, well, everything. So they take off on an adventure to stop the evil badgers. Along the way they'll meet a shopping cart, Stinkbomb will sing her new song many, many times, and they will have to deal with the Army of Great Kerfuffle, Malcolm the Cat.

In their second kerfuffle, the two siblings discover that the Bad Badgers have escaped from jail! With the wise guidance of Miss Butterworth, ninja librarian, they go on a quest to find the Magic Porcupine. Along they way they meet some suspicious racoons, Ketchup-Face makes up a new song, and they take a very long (and boring) bus ride. There is also a mysterious rain of black goo, smelling of bananas. Which leads to the question, do hammerhead sharks eat bananas?

The books are illustrated with a plethora of black and white cartoons by the illustrator, Sam Ricks, showing a horde of pointy-nosed badgers, two gangly siblings, the vaguely confused King Toothbrush Weasel, and all the many strange and quirky inhabitants of Great Kerfuffle.

This is extremely silly. It's a genre that really only crops up in British books, or so I've mostly seen. If you like silly, it's very funny; Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face's parents are never present because they prefer to go away when the children are having a book. The ninja librarian is the only one who can handle the future of the story. Malcom the Cat's idiosyncracies will make anyone who's ever met a temperamental kitty giggle. There's also plenty of gross humor, a la Captain Underpants.

Verdict: If you have early chapter readers who enjoy this type of silliness, this is sure to be a popular choice. It's the kind of off-the-wall series that is sure to find a quick, if brief, following. Readers who like silly and sometimes elaborate language, who want a short, fun read, and who can handle a book so far below the Pilkey line that it's basically stealing Captain Underpants' underwear and running away with it, proclaiming how Extremely Naughty and Badgerish it is being, will enjoy this ridiculous romp.

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers
ISBN: 9781101996621; This edition published 2017 by G. P. Putnam; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine
ISBN: 9781101996652; This edition published 2018 by G. P. Putnam; Review copy provided by publisher and donated to the library

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