Megan McDonald, Peter H Reynolds (illustrator), Hamlet and Cheese (Stink #11), Candlewick Press, March 2018, 144 pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780763691639
Stink – Hamlet and Cheese is the eleventh book in the Stink series by American author Megan McDonald. McDonald is also responsible for the hugely popular Judy Moody books — a series for slightly older kids — but the Stink series, a spinoff from those books is now arguably just as popular. Stink – Hamlet and Cheese features six-year-old Stink Moody (Judy’s brother) who decides to spend his Spring Break at Shakespeare camp with his friend Sophie. As a Shakespeare Sprite (and the only boy!), Stink masters acting, sword-fighting, colourful insults and while dodging kisses, learns all about Shakespeare and his plays.
This is a super fun book for kids aged 5 to 8. Perfect to read together at night or for an emerging reader to tackle on their own, Stink’s everyday adventures are entertaining and funny and sneakily educational. There were things about Shakespeare in this book that I didn’t know and found interesting.
The story is gorgeously illustrated by the talented Peter H. Reynolds and the hard back copy I reviewed was beautifully set out and the perfect size for little hands. Stink (like many boys that age) is a fact freak and I particularly loved the extra sections at the end of each chapter. These featured fun facts, a list of tongue twisters and even an insult creator that kids will love!
The books also have an accompanying website where teachers, parents and kids can find loads of fun activities and resources that compliment the books. Kids who love the Hey Jack! Series by Sally Rippin or Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows should like this book too.
Stink – Hamlet and Cheese is full of fun, facts and entertaining moments that young boys in particular will love. It’s a great addition to the Stink series which then provides a perfect segue into the slightly more challenging, but just as entertaining, Judy Moody books.
Reviewed by Renee Mihulka