Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Candlewick Press; 2020; 160 pages
Content Warning: discussion of phobias (arachnophobia)
About the Author: “Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, two stories about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. She lives in Sebastopol, California.” (Bio taken from publisher’s website.)
About the Illustrator: “Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created many acclaimed books for children. In addition to his Creatrilogy—The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color—he is the author-illustrator of Rose’s Garden, The North Star, and So Few of Me and the illustrator of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody and Stink series. Born in Canada, Peter H. Reynolds now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.” (Bio taken from publisher’s website.)
One day, while playing with his origami frog, Stink comes across something that makes him run back to his house: a giant, hairy spider. Stink is terrified of spiders and refuses to think about them or look at them. He goes to his sister, Judy Moody, to help him get over his fear and find the spider. When she is unable to help, he turns to his friend, Webster, who is determined to teach Stink about tarantulas to help him confront his phobia. Together, they work to help Stink realize that spiders are not as scary as they seem.
Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider is a hilarious, illustrated chapter book that incorporates problem-solving, scientific discoveries, and desensitization techniques. Stink and his friends try to help him work through his arachnophobia with creative methods, such as using Stink’s passion for origami to help him come to terms with spiders and their features. To accompany the discussion of spiders, this book also features fun illustrations that bring every character to life, especially the eight-legged ones! Additionally, readers can enjoy a bonus origami activity, just like Stink creates in the story. Overall, Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider is perfect for kids who want to learn about facing their fears in an engaging, easy way.
(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change.)
PRR Writer, Tyler Steffen