I Love You Stinky Face was given to us at The Sunshine Collective as a hand-me-down book and just as well really, because I don’t think it’s one I would ever have purchased on my own. In true, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover (or title)’ style, this is a bit of a surprising gem.
A child (gender not made clear) is being tucked in at night by their mother. The mother tells the child she loves them, but the child has a few questions about just how far that love goes.
Why I love it:
Basically I am a sucker for anything that helps me explain to my kids just how much I love them. This book is heartfelt, reassuring for children and relatable for any parent or caregiver. It’s humorous, fun and simple and the beautiful message of: ‘I love you no matter what’ is a pretty perfect way to end the day.
Themes to discuss with your child:
The over-riding theme of I Love You Stinky Face is, without a doubt, unconditional love. I think this is such an important concept to discuss with children. I know my son, particularly, worries when I’m cross with him about something, that that means I don’t love him anymore, or I love him less than I love his sister. It’s something he always asks me when I’ve growled. I Love You Stinky Face is a great way to open a discussion about how there is nothing your child could ever do that would stop you loving them or make you love them less. After reading this story, my kids always tuck up into bed with a cosy smile and a happy heart. It’s pretty lovely.
For older children, the book is a great example of first person narrative and the use of spoken voice. With children of this age, you can discuss the use of quotation marks and the way, through writing it in the first person, the gender of the child does not ever have to be decided. Why might the author have done this?
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- How many different creatures can you see on the front cover?
- What do all the creatures on the front cover have in common?
- Why do you think the story might be called, ‘I Love You Stinky Face’?
- Do you think you’re going to enjoy this book?
- How does this story make you feel?
- How many different creatures did the child list? Let’s count.
- Do you think the child is a boy or a girl?
- Which animal was called ‘Stinky Face’? Do you know why?
- Which is your favourite page in the book? Why?
- There was nothing the child could say or do to change the Mama’s love. This is called unconditional love. Who in your life do you love unconditionally?
- Do you know how much I love you?
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