Tuesday, September 8, 2020

MG review of Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake, illustrations by Jon Klassen

49151010. sx318 Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake, illustrations by Jon Klassen
Format:  E-ARC
Publisher:  Algonquin Young Readers

Number of Pages:  136
Publishing:  September 15th, 2020
Source:  Edelweiss +

Opening Line: "The first time Badger saw Skunk, he thought, puny, and shut the door."

Badger is very appreciative that his Aunt Lula offered her brownstone for him to live and work in.  It's his place of solitude and routine.  Then one day Skunk comes knocking on the door.  At first, Badger mistakes him for a salesman but then learns that Aunt Lula invited Skunk to live at the brownstone too.  Needless to say, Badger is very surprised by the news as he never expected to have a roommate, nor has he ever wanted one.   

Skunk is a jovial fella and immediately starts to make himself at home, while Badger starts to feel like his space is being invaded.  Skunk doesn't even confer with him before moving from the guest quarter closet to the second-floor space, he doesn't even discuss breaking down the boxes in Badger's box room before changing it into a bedroom.  Skunk is even kinda loud and bouncy, while Badger is trying to do his important rock work.    And he can't believe it when Skunk invites over the neighborhood chickens for a party and they take over his rock room.  Hoping to get rid of his loud, interfering roommate, Badger writes a letter to his Aunt to tell her that this arrangement just won't do.  

But then Skunk makes him the most glorious breakfasts, with hot chocolate and he does tell the most wonderful stories.  Skunk even apologizes for his past actions and they're finally reaching some common ground.  That is until an unfortunate spraying incident leads them to have a huge argument and Badger says a few words that he instantly regrets.  Now it's Badger's turn to find the right words to convey to Skunk just how wrong he was, to apologize and to ask his roommate to come back home.  

Skunk and Badger has been described as "Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship."  While I see the Winnie-the-Pooh and odd-couple friendship, I'm not quite sure about the Wallace and Gromit, unless it has something to do with the chickens.   This really is a cute story.  Badger is kinda curmudgeonly at first and definitely set in his ways.  He eats the same cereal, does his rock work, and has little interactions with others.  I think part of the message that Timberlake was trying to convey is that communication is important, had Skunk initially discussed his ideas with Badger and Badger been open to new ideas, they would have reached common ground much sooner.  Once they started to talk to one another their relationship started to improve.  Saying sorry and meaning it was also a valuable take away from the story.  Through forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance of each other's differences they were finally able to build a better friendship.   I think the most valuable message for me was that sometimes change can be a good thing.    

        **  Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Algonquin Young Readers for the E-ARC.  **     


  1. I want to read this one. I have it on my wish list.

    1. Love to hear your thoughts when you get to read it.

  2. Ahh, I didn't realize this is a MG! Sounds like a sweet little book.