The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

by Jon Scieszka

Other authorsLane Smith (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1992

Call number



Viking Books for Young Readers (1992), 56 pages


Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sagrundman
This is a collection of fractured fairytales. The characters should be familiar to just about anyone, expect maybe the Stinky Cheese man who is just another version of the Gingerbread man. It is the messed up plots and the crazy endings which make this book interesting. None of these fairytales end
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in the traditional ways or the characters are seen in a different light. In some cases the stories just seem to drop right off the page. The author uses the illustrations to help convey the sense of a fractured fairy tale. The art is mostly done with cutouts seemingly from newspapers and magazines. Text placement and size is used to help tell the story, like the giant sized words for Jack and the Beanstalk. Overall it is an interesting book for older elementary children. Any younger than 1st or 2nd grade, the humor might be lost on.
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LibraryThing member brandyccross
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is a picture book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. The picture book is said to be used for grades 2-6, but I think it is possible for anyone to have fun with this playful book. In the book, the authors takes original fairy tales and make them
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hilarious and fun to read. The have characters such as The Really Ugly Duckling, Little Red Running Shorts, Cinderumpelstilskin, and of course The Stinky Cheese Man. I loved reading this short picture book and I would probably use it for lower grades, but it is a very enjoyable book.
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LibraryThing member huertaen
This is a book of deranged Fairy Tales told in way that makes no sense. It is exceptionally fun and the illustrations are fantastic. This is a fantastic parody on many different well known fairy tales. This book makes experiencing a book very fun, mainly because of the inventive printing style,
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leaving pages blank, writing upside down, making the font so incredibly small that it's near impossible to read, and more. This is a great picture book and an even better read aloud book. Concept/Classroom use: humorous fun pulling student's in to books, elementary school age
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LibraryThing member AStall
This is a collection of tales from Jack. You know? Jack and the beanstalk. We repeatedly run into a hen who doesn't have a page for her story, Chicken Licken, a princess who now had back problems, the really ugly duckling, the other frog prince, little red running shorts, Jack and his 'giant'
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problem, Cinderumpelstiltskin, the tortoise and the hair, and the stinky cheese man. These funny characters all are almost like their fairytale counterparts. Almost.

I have loved this book forever. I love the way the words do not align exactly in the same place every page. The font size changes. Some pages are blank. The layout is great. I love all the different points-of-view, especially Jack. It's a great parody of some classic fairytales.

I think if I ever read this is a class, I would make sure to read the true versions of each fairytale first. Afterwards, we could venn diagram the parodies and the stinky cheese man book. We also could write our own parody of a story not in the book. Like Pocahontas or Sleeping Beauty.
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LibraryThing member Brianna82
Jon Scieszka's "The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales", in typical Scieszka-fashion, is another self-aware children's book written to parody fairy tales and illustrated to intensify the humor. Scieszka adds a new spin to classic fairytales, producing such remixes as "The Princess and
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Bowling Ball", "The Really Ugly Ducking and "Cinderumpelstiltskin, or The Girl Who Really Blew It". The cover story is featured at the very end and spins the tale of the Stinky Cheese Man. Just when you think the book is over, the giant from one of the stories makes a grand reappearance, and polishes off the Little Red Hen, in a climactic finale.

Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith channel Monte Python in their rendition of the classic fairytales, providing entertainment for all ages!

Themes: Fractured Fairy Tales.
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LibraryThing member justmeRosalie
I didn't see this one as anything more than what a clever storyteller couldn't just make-up on the spot, but my own children liked it enough to buy it and it was amusing. The illustrations could be improved.
LibraryThing member ysar
It's just my opinion, but I'm fairly certain this is the best book written...ever.
LibraryThing member bplma
A clever and humorous send up of some well known European folk and fairy tales: Little Red Hen, Chicken Little, Princess and the Pea, Ugly Duckling, Frog Prince, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, Tortoise and the Hare and the Gingerbread Man. Scieszka parodies
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not only the tales but also the Books themselves. Not for the youngest readers as parodies only work when one is familiar with the original tale, and because readers need a certain level of sophistication to "get it", but for some 2nd and definitely 3rd and up this is a terrific treat--whether you are doing a unit on tales or writing your own stories--this is a winner. I especially loved Little Red Hen's running commentary.
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LibraryThing member RosesAreRed
I checked this book out from my elementary school library at least 10 times.
LibraryThing member jeriannthacker
Hilarious re-telling of classic fairy tales, good for older kids (first grade & up).
LibraryThing member heather_hill
This collection of stories is a spin-off of several classic fairytales. Those fairytales include The Stinky Cheese Man, a "smelly" rendition of The Gingerbread Man, Chicken Licken, a "smashing" tale about Chicken Little, and The Princess and the Bowling Ball, a very "lumpy" representation of The
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Princess and the Pea. With Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) as the narrator, trying desperately not to awaken the sleeping giant, thses stories become quite interesting!

I love authors with a sense of humor, and this book is hilarious! This assortment of tales is a perfect combination of funny and downright twisted. I enjoyed these because they aren't what is to be expected, and it's nice to have that every once in a while.

One extension I'd do with my students is to have them fabricate their own renditions of fairytales they remember being read to them. They can illustrate their stories, and we could create our own "fairly stupid tales" book for the classroom library. A second extension could be to break my students up into groups and have them perform one of their renditions to the classroom. We could videotape and play them for their parents at open house!
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LibraryThing member anita.west
This book is a real classic; it is filled with what the author calls “Almost Fairy Tales,” or “Fairly Stupid Tales.” This is not a traditional book, rather, it is a mixed up story, font, backwards, out of order book. The narrator plays the main character and is very funny (but somewhat
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warped) as he tells his version of modernized fairy tales throughout the book.

I think this book is great. I enjoyed the re-mix version of the classic fairytales I read as a child. The Stinky Cheese Man, which is a re-make of the Gingerbread Man, was hilarious and perhaps my favorite “Fairly Stupid Tale.”

I would definitely use this book in the classroom with children in grades 4 and above. This book would serve as a good example for creating stories using previously written one’s as guideposts. I would ask the students to choose their favorite fairy tale and recreate it just as Scieszka and Smith did in this book. I am sure this would be a welcomed activity. Another classroom extension idea would be to read the stories to the students (without naming the titles) and ask them to name the original fairy tale that the author was recreating. This would be a fun literature-matching activity for the students; it would also give the teacher an idea as to how many children know or are familiar with classic fairy tales.
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LibraryThing member jhill06
Critique: This is a good example of a fairy tale becuase the stories contain some form of magic, like in Jack's Bean Problem. Some of the stories have a moral or lesson to them but with a twist, and all generally have a protagonist who is good and usually wins, such as the prince in The Princess
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and the Bowling Ball.

Genre: Fairy Tales
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LibraryThing member smilz23
These fairly stupid tales will have you rolling on the floor giggling. Retellings of many familiar fairy tales each with a new little twist.

Classroom connections: Design plays a big role in this book and could be discussed with upper elementary students. This could also be an addition to a unit on
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fairy tales where student's could write their own versions of the familiar stories.
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LibraryThing member ccondra
After reading the book have the students compare the real fairy tales to the ones in this book and ask what the differences are. And which version they liked better.
LibraryThing member Katya0133
A funny and irreverent take on classic fairy tales.
LibraryThing member keristars
This is possibly my all-time favorite picture book. I was first introduced to it when my third grade teacher read parts of it aloud as a treat for the class. I thought it was the greatest thing ever back then. I still do!

The appeal in the book is the reworking of well-known fairy tales and the
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comic interruptions by other characters. (Seriously, is the hen the funniest thing ever or what?) I think this book is probably one of the greatest influences on my sense of humor, and I can see how my enjoyment of The Stinky Cheese Man has turned into a love for Discworld and John Hodgman.

(My favorite joke ever when I was eight years old was the screaming by the hen on the back cover with regards to the ISBN code. It still makes me laugh, seventeen years later!)

Oh, also, because I almost forgot: this book is fantastic as an example of how with picture books, the experience starts with the cover and goes through every page to the back. I could easily see this being used in a university level literary theory course to show how paratextual information can be part of and change a reading.

PS: The illustrations are pretty snazzy, too.
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LibraryThing member lianedewan
This is a twist on all of the traditional tales of chicken little and Cinderella and so many others. THe narrator Jack gets off to bed start by forgetting the table of contents, putting the dedication upside down and so many other problems. And he's constantly being interrupted by the Little Red
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Hen who just wants to tell her. Read this for a little amusement, but don't miss a word or you might get lost.

This is one of my favorite books to read. I have found that it is a little hard to read to a class and get all of the jokes across. It is always entertaining.

Classroom Extensions:
1) I would have students choose their favorite Fairy Tale and re-write it
2) As a class we would develop this book into a play
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LibraryThing member mwflood
One of the funniest picture books I have enjoyed in some time. The weird twists on these fairy tales were just completely genius and entertaining. My favorite was all the appearances of the little red hen because that story was the first one I ever had my Teddy Ruxpin and it brought me back but was
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so funny to see her looking more for attention for her hard work than just enjoying the fruits of her labor.

A must have for story time especially for kids who are familiar with the original poems depicted in this book.
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LibraryThing member aimtroyer
I put this book as a picture book because it won't the Caldecott Award; however, it could also be in the fairytale section. It takes multiple takes and weaves them together. Kids really love this book. It's a great opening to a fairytale unit or to do some comparisons between original fairytales
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and those in this book.
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LibraryThing member servantHEART
From the table of contents falling from the sky to Little Red Running Shorts (a spin on Little Red Riding Hood), Jack the narrator takes you on a journey of fairly stupid tales. The stories are comical spins on traditional fantasy tales. An element of the book consists of a page left blank. This is
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an attempt by narrator Jack to allow the giant to continue is nap and ultimately trying to avoid being part of his afternoon snack.

I enjoyed the interruptions of the hen and Jack, the narrator's rants about his need for book organization, but showing us (the readers) everything but an organized book. It turned into comedy. If a book starts out with the table of contents falling from the sky and reveals the true life of a very ugly duckling, not much more could be expected, but other fairly stupid tales.

In the classroom, I would give the students string cheese as a teaser to produce anticipation for the Stinky Cheese Man story. I would use this opportunity for a creative writing exercise by instructing the students to create his/her own fairly stupid tale.
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LibraryThing member alliek710
A very funny 'fairy tale' book that throws it's own twist on old tales. Definitely not your ordinary children's book, but any kid would crack up laughing so hard reading it.
LibraryThing member camarie
Hilarious and lovable, there is never a dull moment in this book, and you will not regret reading it.
LibraryThing member creeh
the stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales is one of my all time favorite childrens books! ive been reading this book since i was in elementary school. it is a collection of fairy tales told in stupid ways, and even some that are completely off base from the original. for example, the
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little red hen just pops out every once in while griping that its taking too long to tell her story. jack, form jack and the beanstalk, is the narrartor throughout the book, he is shown to be the producer of the whole mess, and lets the reader in as if the reader is his partner in crime. it is a very funny book, and often, i like these versions of the stories better anyway. this book could definately be used in alot of ways because its really so open, a teacher could use it to open up a fairy tale lesson, or even just bounce through the book and tell the stories that would apply to the situation. also, this book would be a good example how good books can be written very silly.
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LibraryThing member mvanemmerik
Art: illustrations rendered in oil and vinegar




067084487X / 9780670844876


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