Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

illus. by Sam Ricks. 432p. Putnam. Feb. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781101996621.
Gr 2–4—The kingdom of Great Kerfuffle is an interesting place to visit, with a wide range of odd and enthusiastic characters that will keep readers guessing and chuckling. Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face are a mischief-making brother and sister who are not afraid to make a mess or strike out on their own adventure. While the book has a fair amount of humor, varied text size and type, and amusing black-and-white illustrations, one weakness may prove difficult for new readers: the author makes too ambitious an attempt to break the fourth wall to create a sort of metafictional tale where the characters know they're in a story. Most kids will overlook these as silly asides and read on to learn about the fate of Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face as they confront the Badgers, who drive cars much too fast, scare innocent chickens, and knock over all the garbage cans.
VERDICT A serviceable offering, likely to find fans in the early chapter book crowd.

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