Today’s featured book is Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen. When I was invited for the blog tour of this book, the title and the cover immediately hooked me in. I was lost in its nostalgia, its cuteness and warmth even before I opened the book.
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The Blog Tour
Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for inviting me on this blog tour for Skunk and Badger, and for the delightful ARC of this book.
The Book Review
Skunk and Badger
Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship, from Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake with full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.
No one wants a skunk.
They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Important Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it.
When Skunk plows into Badger’s life, everything Badger knows is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?
Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake spins the first tale in a series about two opposites who need to be friends.
New York Times bestselling author/illustrator and Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen completes the book with his signature lushly textured art. This beautifully bound edition contains both full-color plates and numerous black-and-white illustrations.
Skunk and Badger is a book you’ll want to read, reread, and read out loud . . . again and again.
When I first saw this book, I was immediately reminded of a childhood favorite The Wind in the Willows, and I knew I simply had to read this. The blurb reminded me other odd couples, and sweet reads, including the Frog and Toad series. And of course, both Wallace and Gromit as well as Winnie the Pooh as mentioned in the description. So of course NOTHING was going to stop me from devouring this read!
What I Loved
Simply put: Everything! This book is a delight.
The Story Itself
Amy Timberlake tells us of an unusual and heartwarming friendship, which is totally relatable, and teaches without being preachy or obvious about it.
We meet Badger, perfectly content being all by his lonesome self in Aunt Lula’s brownstone, eating the same meal each time, and doing Important Rock Work. Little does he realize that totally extroverted Skunk is just outside, and Badger’s life too, one who feels that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; and who loves stories.
Each one opens doors to new experiences and new things to learn for the other; and more importantly, friendships!
What it Leaves Us With
It shows that the words we use matter, so choose wisely; that it is OK to make mistakes and perfectly OK to say “I’M SORRY.” It teaches us not to judge others too quickly, for we never know what we might find; true friends, for example. The message of friendship and acceptance shine throughout this sweet read. And yes, the importance of a good (yummy) breakfast too!!
What is not to love about grunting, grumpy Badger (not really)? Or the effervescent Skunk? And I simply cannot forget the Chickens… they are everywhere, plus, they are quantum Chickens!! Then, there are those wonderful townspeople of this quaint town. I know I would love to know them better.
Jon Klassen’s illustrations are the perfect complement to the story. Beautiful, classic and whimsical, each one evokes and invites a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere that is just right.
The Everything Else
- A quaint setting that takes you on journey to the woods, to rock-rooms, and to nostalgia filled towns with parks that fit every need (like reading trees, climbing trees, and of course swings and slides and such).
- All those totally creative and cute names for places and people (well, animals) and things; like the New Yak Times Book Review, and more!
- Humor and heart-tugs all in one.
- Breakfast!! Can someone make me strawberry cinnamon muffins now?
- A rock-room and a moon-room!! So of course, stuff to learn about rocks and the sky as well.
- And more to love too.. (not just in this book, but this is the first in a series)!!
Timberlake’s heartwarming and joyous writing accompanied by Klassen’s frame-worthy illustrations make this a great read for young and old alike. So, of course, you need to get it for that young reader (who am I kidding? yourself too!) And it is on sale September 15th!!
Get It Here
More Book Info
Praise for SKUNK AND BADGER:
“A splendid entry in the odd-couple genre, Timberlake’s spunky series opener posits that compassion and inner transformation can strengthen the unlikeliest of friendships. It’s an approach that gestures toward broader societal conversations (consider the word that prompts Skunk to leave: “vermin”) without losing focus on the story’s delightful central duo. The use of fragmented sentences, repetition, and onomatopoeia makes for a fun read. Klassen’s muted, wistful artwork, meanwhile, invokes sweeping sentiments during key events. Exceptionally sweet.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
About Amy Timberlake
Amy Timberlake’s work has received a Newbery Honor, an Edgar Award, a Golden Kite Award, and the China Times Best Book Award. She grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin, but now calls Chicago home. She is a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in history, and holds an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. You can find her walking on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail on cool, crisp fall days.
About Jon Klassen
Jon Klassen is a Canadian-born author/illustrator. He has written and illustrated three picture books of his own (I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat) and illustrated many other author’s texts, including Sam & Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, and Pax by Sara Pennypacker. His books have won a Caldecott medal and two Caldecott honors and other international awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and son.
Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me the physical ARC of this book; and for inviting me for the book tour. All opinions are my own.
Would You Rather
Would you rather be a skunk or a badger? (And note that whatever you say might change after you read this gem of a book featured today)
As for me, I am sometimes a skunk and at other times a badger, but if I had to choose, maybe a skunk (?!)
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, any similar recommendations for me? Do let me know.