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Sunday, October 17, 2010

I STINK! Written and illustrated by Kate and Jim McMullan. Harper, 2002. $8.99 ages 3 and up

"Did I wake you?
Too bad!
Bring on the crusher blade.
Push back the BAGS.
Crush them!
Mash them!
Smash them!
Whoa, those bags are

Joey is going to love this book! One page of text and I'll bet you are conjuring up all the fun to have when you share it! Listen to the words, the sounds, the action! And there's a story, too! It is the tale of a night in the life of a garbage truck...and he's right, he stinks. But, where would we be without him? He answers that question for us:

"You're on Mount Trash-0-rama, baby."

And he's right on the money. Throughout the night, this unglamorous guy roams the streets picking up the trash that people create. He takes it in, grinds it up and finally spits it onto a barge that will take it away! Then, he heads for home (the garage) to get cleaned up and start all over again tomorrow. As he travels we can almost hear the throttle, the hopper, the compactor smashing and crushing each new load.

After a huge BURP! he has room for an 'alphabet soup' of trash. It begins with 'Apple cores, Banana peels, Candy wrappers and Dirty Diapers and ends with 'zipped-up ziti with zucchini.' I'm sure you can see the possibilities for classroom writing, and imagination. There must be other workers, and work machines that would offer up ideas for future stories.

The illustrations are filled with bold colors, neverending action and many opportunities for drama and interpretation as you explore the story with young readers. While enjoying the telling they are also learning about a community helper that is often forgotten. What fun!

Let's give him the final say:

"I'm empty.
I'm beat.
You're waking up now,
but I need some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs."

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