Review Blog

Jan 13 2012

Stink and the ultimate thumb-wrestling smackdown by Megan McDonald

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Ill. By Peter H. Reynolds. Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781406334586.
(Ages 6-11) Recommended. In the 6th title of the Stink Moody books, Stink is excited about receiving his school report, and looks forward to seeing a long list of O's for Oustanding Achievement. He is horrified though, to see a U for Unsatisfactory beside Physical Education. Stink has never enjoyed sports, as he thinks he is so small he'd get hurt too easily, but now it looks like he'll have to find a sport to play if he wants to regain his status as the perfect student. After ruling out bike-riding, skateboarding, golf and badminton, Stink discovers the best sport of them all - Thumb Wrestling! He makes a costume for his thumb and dubs it Shark Hammersmash, but even such an awe-inspiring name cannot help him win. Deciding that perhaps he's not cut out for the world of thumb wars after all, Stink finally decides to try Karate, and finds he is very good at it. The confidence he gains from achieving his yellow belt might even give him the boost he needs to defeat T.Rex Wasabi, the school's thumb-wrestling champion.
There's a lovely message in this book, that while nobody is good at everything, everyone is good at something. Students already familiar with the characters of Stink and his sister Judy will enjoy seeing Judy feel quite proud of her brother for a change, and those new to the series will find themselves wanting to read more.
Donella Reed

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