The Skunk

The Skunk - Mac Barnett, Patrick McDonnell

I found this children’s picture book unique. The more I looked at it, the more I enjoyed it and it was the illustrations that I loved.   The story revolves around a man dressed in a black tuxedo with a red bow tie leaving his house. He discovers a skunk on his doorstep so he silently closes his door and walks away only to discover that a skunk is following him. Throughout the story, the man tries to divert himself away from the skunk, he also tries talking to him and many other options but the skunk keeps following him. It becomes like a game as the skunk is right behind the man in every situation the man attempts. The illustrations show the man’s desperation to separate himself from the animal as the story continues. The man finally breaks himself free from the skunk’s reigns but the man is not free and the story is not over. The illustrations tell the story without any attempt to read the words written on the page if that is how you would like to follow the story, the facial and movement of the characters are all you need to see to know exactly what is occurring. The gray background reflects the desperation of the man, and the skunk, he is just the skunk and what he wants…..that is a conversation starter.