In Association with I LOVE YOU, STINKY FACE
by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore

Scholastic Books, Inc.

1998 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 you."
    --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 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."
    --Publishers Weekly

"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."
    --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."
    --Child magazine

"Lisa McCourt's text is filled with ugly monsters, but the end result is a bedtime beauty."

"A reassuring story of a mother's love, with wonderful illustrations."

"In 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 bedtime."

"Would that all parents were as inventive as this devoted mother, who spins amusing bedtime yarns in response to her challenging toddler."