Great Illustrated Books

I Stink!

By Kate McMullan, Illustrated by Jim McMullan

Joanna Cotler, 2002
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 3-7
ISBN: 9780060298487

A no-nonsense, tough-talking New York City garbage truck explains how he scarfs down your bags of trash each night while you sleep. "See those bags? I smell BREAKFAST!" That truck's got a mug on him, by turns grinning, scowling, and looking tough. Thick, black-outlined watercolors against dark charcoal backgrounds lit yellow by streetlights and headlights are evocative of the eau de garbage, while the truck's free-form monologue blasts across the page in huge letters. Engines roaring, the odiferous vehicle takes a minute for a full-page "BURRRP!" And then the piece de resistance, a 5-page illustrated alliterative alphabet of garbage. "Get a load of my recipe," the truck chortles, starting with Apple cores, Banana peels, Candy wrappers, and Dirty diapers. "Eeeeuuuwww," your listeners will squeal in disgusted delight. Bet they can then recall and recite the garbage ABCs back to you, no sweat.

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If you love this book, then try:

Barracca, Debra, and Sal Barracca. The Adventures of Taxi Dog. Dial, 1990.

Barton, Byron. My Car. Greenwillow, 2001.

Burton, Virginia Lee. Katy and the Big Snow. Houghton Mifflin, 1943.

Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Houghton Mifflin, 1939.

Child, Lauren. That Pesky Rat. Candlewick, 2002.

Gramatky, Hardie. Hercules. Putnam, 1940.

Kirk, Daniel. Go! Hyperion, 2001.

Lyon, David. The Biggest Truck. Lothrop, 1988.

MacLean, Christine Kole. Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms. Dutton, 2002.

McMullan, Kate. I'm Mighty! HarperCollins, 2003.

Robbins, Ken. Bridges. Dial, 1991.

Shields, Carol Diggory. Food Fight! Handprint, 2002.

Sobel, June. B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC. Harcourt, 2003.

Zelinsky, Paul. The Wheels on the Bus. Dutton, 1990.

Critics have said

The simple, but distinctive voice of the narrating vehicle makes this a fun and funny read-aloud, especially for young truck enthusiasts.
School Library Journal
Mostly this is just a loud, gleeful portrait of a big machine at work, illustrated with pictures that are just the right blend of heavy paint, dark colors, and whimsical humor to show the gritty, urban landscape and the swaggering, macho truck.