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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Stinky Owl by Melanie Burgess is a charming tale for children inspired by the birds at the Rocky Gap State Park Aviary. It concerns a Great Horned Owl who has an unfortunate predilection for eating skunks and, as a result, is quite smelly. His aromatic condition tends to blight his efforts to make friends and he becomes increasingly dispirited as the story progresses. Woven into the narrative are landmarks of the Rocky Gap Aviary, and the story also introduces us to several species of owls, bald eagles, red tailed hawks and black vultures as Stinky continually fails to make friends with the other birds. All is not lost, however, because as luck would have it, the black vultures do not find Stinky’s awful smell offensive and, being nice birds, they are determined to find him a friend. The story progresses to a happy ending which I will refrain from spoiling by revealing what it is.
Stinky Owl is a beautifully illustrated book. The story, which is quite moralistic with a strong Christian message, is told in rhyme. It is the sort of book that parents, or more likely grandparents will buy. It is suitable for bedtime reading out loud - the rhyme structure will also help children remember the story line and learn to read it themselves. My grandchildren said it was a nice story. Stinky Owl by Melanie Burgess is an attractive book and a worthy addition to children’s fiction.