Walliams, David (text) Quentin Blake (illus.): Mr Stink.
WALLIAMS, David (text) Quentin Blake (illus.) Mr Stink HarperCollins, 2009 227pp $19.99 ISBN 9780007279050 SCIS 1448294
Mr Stink is a very smelly tramp whom Chloe Crumb takes pity on and invites to live in her back shed. Meanwhile, her mother is running for election as a local candidate. Mrs Crumb ('Crooommbe', as she pronounces it) is reminiscent of television snob Hyacinth Bucket ('Bouquet'), with her hypercritical posing but, even worse, she seems to only love talented daughter Annabelle, not slightly plump and shy Chloe or her husband, who is hiding under the stairs during the day because he has lost his job and is afraid of his wife's reaction. Mr Stink is not quite what he seems. He perceives Chloe's loneliness and vulnerability and turns their family around. Packaged like a Roald Dahl novel, this comedy by Little Britain's Walliams is perfectly pitched to readers of Dahl's Matilda. JL