Friday, May 6, 2022

The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk and Brendan Kearney - a delicious rhyming adventure

Why this book?

I love stories where interesting characters need to solve mysteries and go on adventures together! I also can't resist a mystery. If you like rhyming books, this one is a great choice. I especially enjoyed all the creative (and funny) places the characters traveled through in the story, like "Trifle Tower." One of the wonderful things about this book is that there are others in the series. I’m excited to see there’s a new Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast adventure coming out soon!

 My thoughts as a creator:

I found it interesting to study how the author created a mystery in a rhyming story. What a challenge! Any of the Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast books are wonderful mentor texts for writing a rhyming picture book. I loved how small details and wordplay added to the humor in the story.

My thoughts as an educator:

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of rhyming stories with my students to help them develop their sense of rhyme by listening for similar sounds in words. The fun characters in this story really captured the children’s attention. It’s also really fun to find a mystery in a picture book! Reading this book can lead into some fun discussions and maybe some student-created stories with clues and “red herrings.”   

Ages: 4 - 7

Grades: K - 3

Connections: rhyming, mysteries, problem-solving, helping friends


Literacy - Have students choose their favourite character and follow what happens to them through the story.

Create – Encourage students to think of a food in their refrigerator and create their own character! Draw or use collage materials to bring their character to life. To add a bit of a literacy twist,

Math – Create a survey about story characters, for example, Which character do you like better, Lady Pancake, Sir French Toast or Inspector Croissant?

Movement – Encourage students to make up a “signature move” for each of the main characters in the story. How would Sir French Toast dance? What about Inspector Croissant?


 More resources:

On his website, author Josh Funk has links to activity kits provided by the publisher, Union Books & Co., to go with his books. Check out this one for The Case of the Stinky Stench. Another cool thing I found there was a song to go with each one of the books!

Josh Funk's resources for writers can help with inspiration or the writing process 

Book Nerd Mommy has provided a sweet “fruitcake” recipe kids can make to go along with this book!  

Description from the publisher:

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 rhymes, wordplay, and art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast—there’s even an actual red herring—this fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids!

The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk & Brendan Kearney was published by Union Square & Co in 2017.


For more wonderful picture books, visit Perfect Picture Book Friday at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. 


  1. I love your review! It sent me to the author's website, which was amazing!!! I am putting this on my list for books to read as I enjoy writing in rhyme but would never even try to write a rhyming mystery so I can't wait to read this! I LOVE your "Movement" activity! Wouldn't it be fun to have the "characters" dance to the song that goes with the book? Thank you for introducing me to this author!

  2. Great book! It's quite difficult to make rhyme work when you have other complicated story elements. And Josh Funk does it well!

  3. I have read other books by Josh Funk- but I haven't read this one yet. Thanks for the review! Sounds like a fun read! :)


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