I LOVE YOU, STINKY FACE
by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore
Scholastic Books, Inc.
National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Honor Book
"In a funny, tender bedtime story, a mother tucks her child in
with lots of hugs and kisses and words of love, but the toddler worries:
Would you still love me if I were a big scary ape? Or a super smelly
skunk? Or a slimy swamp creature? Or a Cyclops that had just one big,
gigantic eye? Each time, the mother is totally reassuring, unconditionally
loving, and wonderfully creative about how she would help and nurture
and adore the monstrous offspring ('I would dress you in colors that
showed off your nice green
skin. I would buy you a bigger toothbrush for your big teeth. I would
move next to the swamp, and I would say I love you, my little Cyclops').
Moore's paintings, in neon colors with lots of purple and green, contrast
the gentle bedtime caresses with the wild scenarios. This is a book
that adds depth to McBratney's best-selling Guess How Much I Love
You? (1995). The playful uproar here dramatizes every child's elemental
fear that no one would love you if people knew how bad you really were.
The answer here is absolute: nothing could ever make me stop loving
--Booklist starred review
"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
"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."
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."
--School Library Journal
"'What if I were a super-smelly skunk and I smelled so bad that
my name was Stinky Face?' a little boy asks his mother. Reassuringly,
he finds out that--even then--he'd still be tops with Mom."
"Lisa McCourt's text is filled with ugly monsters, but the end
result is a bedtime beauty."
--SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS
"A reassuring story of a mother's love, with wonderful illustrations."
our household, just saying "I Love You, Stinky Face" was enough
to elicit several minutes of laughter. The rest of the book was equally
well received. The humorous, boldly colored illustrations (which include
an unfazed mother blowing kisses to a giant gnarled swamp creature)
and the sheer originality of her responses make this a sure winner at
"Would that all parents were as inventive as this devoted mother,
who spins amusing bedtime yarns in response to her challenging toddler."
--AKRON BEACON JOURNAL