I Love You, Stinky Face
By Lisa McCourt
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
A mother and child discuss how the mother’s love would remain constant even if her child were a stinky skunk, scary ape, or bug-eating green alien.
A mother tucks her child into bed with comforting words of love. But the imaginative child has a few questions.
“What if I were an alligator with big, sharp teeth that could bite your head off?”
“What if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?”
“What if I were a green alien from Mars, and I ate bugs instead of peanut butter?”
The answers from this unstoppably devoted mother will have children and grown-ups laughing out loud. A parent’s unconditional love was never so creatively tested…or so beautifully reassured.
The Horn Book, Inc.
A child tests his mother’s love as she tucks him in: Would you love me “if I were a big, scary ape, . . . a super smelly skunk,” and so on. Her Runaway Bunny-like responses (“I would make your birthday cake out of bananas . . . “) rise to each challenge until a satisfied, sleepy-eyed child concedes, “Mama, I love you.” The humorous illustrations are ultimately as naive as the ending.
School Library Journal
A child tucked into bed delays going to sleep, needing reassurance of her mother’s love. The youngster asks, “Would you still love me….if I were a big scary ape?” or “a super smelly skunk” or “a terrible meat-eating dinosaur,” and the list continues. No matter what horrible creature is imagined, Mama says she will always love and care for her child. Warm pastel drawings sweetly illustrate the story; the imaginary creatures are appealing rather than frightening. Reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins, 1942) and Kady Denton’s Would They Love a Lion? (Kingfisher, 1995), this is a good choice for storytime or one-on-one sharing.
–Elizabeth Trotter, Scott County Public Library, Georgetown, KY
Meredith Kiger – Children’s Literature
A little boy tests his mother’s love by conjuring up the most impossible scenarios, and then asking, “Would you still love me, then”? His mother reassuringly and creatively replies in the affirmative, no matter how farfetched the challenge. Humorous illustrations will capture the preschooler’s imagination.
In this sentimental q&a, a child imagines himself as various uncuddly creatures while his mother promises unconditional love. The child’s queries flow in waves of thick, black hand-lettered words with the name of a despicable monster occasionally highlighted in an appropriately putrid color: “But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and… my name was Stinky Face?” His mother replies (in evenly paced typeset text) that she would bathe him, “and if you still smelled bad, I wouldn’t mind, and I would… whisper in your ear, `I love you, Stinky Face.'” The child is inspired by stuffed animals and a picture book to conjure uncharming beasts that range from an ape to a seaweed-covered swamp creature to a pointy-headed cyclops. Fantasy spreads show each of the boy’s metamorphoses, alongside his fearless mother (faced with an alligator, she buys a bigger toothbrush, and for the meat-eating dinosaur she makes hamburgers). Moore’s (A Frog Inside My Hat) soft sunset shades of lavender, teal, pink and peach convey the fanciful animals that, no matter how toothy or slimy, become gentle under the mother’s loving gaze. McCourt’s (The Rain Forest Counts!) sweet yet effective game sends a soothing message. Ages 3-7.