Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk

by Josh Funk
Illustrated by Brendan Kearney
Sterlings Children's Books
Picture Book
ages 3+
40 pages

"Uncle,” Crossaint said, “the fridge is in trouble! 

A mystery stench turned a whole shelf to rubble! 
I’m the last hope or the fridge will be lost! 
Help me or else we’ll be cooked, served, and sauced.” 
There’s a stinky stench in the fridge—and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Sir French Toast’s nephew, Inspector Croissant, begs him and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron Von Waffle? A fetid fish lurking in the bottom of Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring the same delectable wordplay and delicious art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast—there’s even an actual red herring—his fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids!


With a fantastically delicious dive into the world hidden in the depths of a fridge, Inspector Croissant teams up with Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to embark on a delightful, somewhat quirky but always mysterious adventure.

Something stinks, and Inspector Croissant is determined to figure out what it is. With the help of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, he heads across Marshmallow Coast and over Mount Everbean to seek out the potential culprit and not-so-trustworthy Baron Von Waffle. And it's only the beginning of the jaunt through cuisine.

This is one packed adventure and that in only 40 pages and without intimidating amounts of text. Through silly rhymes, which flow smoother than Applesauce River, the three characters travel over a world delicious enough to make any reader's eyes sparkle and stomach tingle for glee. The wording is clever and every word sits. Even the occasional sprinkle of tougher vocabulary lands like droplets of sugar on the tongue. 

The illustrations overflow with color and fantasy, luring in and guaranteeing hours of visits to search out details and discover overlooked surprises again and again. The characters remind a bit of Sponge Bob and invite with their easy mannerisms to join in through even more dangerous places such as Corn Chowder Lake as the real culprit is sought out.

Among the mystery and whimsical travels through donuts and cheese, there's also a warm-hearted good deed to make the ending close with a guaranteed smile and promise of sweet dreams. And for little explores whose curiosity knows no bounds, there's an explores map at the end to help guide any visitors ages three and up through the wonders of this bright and scrumptious land.

And here they are. . .

Josh Funk is from MA where he spends his days writing computer language and his free time writing picture book rhymes. His first published picture book was Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast (Sterling) and he is the author of Pirasaurs (Scholastic), Dear Dragon (Viking), and the upcoming Albie Newton (Sterling, 2018).Josh is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conference. You can find Josh at and on twitter at @joshfunkbooks.

Brendan Kearney specializes in illustrating children's books. He currently lives in the UK. Visit
him at and follow him on twitter at @BrendanDraws.

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