Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 14, 2017

Book Giveaway: The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk

Josh Funk has a new picture book, THE CASE OF THE STINKY STENCH and he has offered to do a book giveaway. Here are two accolades already earned for this book: 2017 Indie Next List Selection & 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards Best Picture Book of the Year Semifinalist.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


“Uncle,” Croissant said, “the fridge is in trouble!
A mystery stench turned a whole shelf to rubble!
I’m the last hope or the fridge will be lost!
Help me or else we’ll be cooked, served, and sauced.”

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 wordplay and delicious art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast–this fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids and adults alike!


The Case of the Stinky Stench was conceived as soon as I saw illustrator Brendan Kearney’s sketches for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, the first book in the series. I immediately knew there was more to explore within the vast culinary landscapes he’d created based on a handful of silly words I’d written about two leftover breakfast foods.

But a sequel? Nobody likes sequels. I’d been let down by many a picture book sequel (The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Pickles to Pittsburgh, I could go on). Sequels rarely live up to expectations. We’ve all seen the film class discussion in Scream 2 where Randy Meeks says “by definition alone, they’re inferior ….” So how could I return to the fridge without disappointment? How could I avoid the sequel slide?

I started (as one always should) at the public library. I asked my friendly neighborhood librarians for their favorite picture book sequels. They shared some, but few came close to rivaling their predecessors (Big Anthony and the Magic Ring is certainly fun, but it’s Strega Nona) and most were from decades past (A Pocket for Corduroy). While some were brilliant winners (Knuffle Bunny Too), I hadn’t yet discovered a discernible pattern as to what made a sequel good.

So I headed to my local independent bookshop (if you don’t have one of these, you should totally get one – or start your own). I needed to see what was selling today in the sequel market. There were some solid new ones (like Ninja Red Riding Hood) – but what was the secret to making them great?*

Then it hit me. I’d make it a holiday book. Everybody likes the holidays** (or at least no one hates them). And I could use holiday foods from all over the place: gingerbread villages, eggnog disasters, potato latkes swimming in applesauce rivers, red herrings in peanut soup! I’d create a hodgepodge of holiday home cooked delights!

When I submitted the manuscript to Sterling, you can guess what they said: [I’m paraphrasing] “We love it! But … we’d prefer if people could read it year round … can you get rid of the holidays?”

So I did.

Except for the villain, the most devious and despicable of all holiday foods, the – well, I won’t spoil it for you. This villain does enough spoiling for everyone.

* I also changed genres (from a race to a mystery) and added a new character (Inspector Croissant).

** I’ve since learned that many people do not like holiday books.


Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series (including The Case of the Stinky Stench and the upcoming Mission: Defrostable), ​It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, and the forthcoming Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle (in conjunction with Girls Who Code), Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude (in conjunction with the New York Public Library), It’s Not Hansel and Gretel, and more coming soon!​

Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and was the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences.


Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts.

Josh says he is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.

For more information about Josh Funk, visit him at and on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.

Thank you Josh for sharing your book and journey with us and offering to send a copy to one lucky winner. It look like a very funny book. Please let us know all your future successes.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Josh this book sounds so stinkin cute! ~Vicki

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Josh- It was really helpful to hear your approach for tackling the sequel. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the tidbit about holiday books not being at the top of most people’s lists. As a writer who is learning as much as I can about the business, that was helpful. I loved learning about you and B.J. Novak being friends since childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s not to love? You have a gift for rhyme and I love trying to figure out what makes a sequel really good. Would love to hear even more insights on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked the info about sequel writing and enjoyed hearing your process for this book. Sounds hilarious and fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fun book from a fun writer. I’d love a copy. I am tweeting and posting this on FB as well. Happy Holidays to all!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on this book, Josh! Such fun, and I love the idea of the illustrations of your first book inspiring you to create a sequel story! It’s what great picture books are all about – true creative collaboration – even if it happens sequentially…
    I’m excited to be returning as a Sterling author in 2019 with a rhyming (holiday!) book, Mirabel’s Missing Valentines.Maybe we can do some rhyming promo together!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This story is so fun! I love all the cute food characters!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tweeted!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Josh: As a Home Economics teacher in my previous career, I have a special fondness for all of your “culinary characters!” Thanks for the fun read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your books are always hilarious. Just reading your post is funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks, Josh, for giving us insight on how you approached writing a sequel. Both book #1 & #2 are hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love Josh Funk! We don’t have this book yet but have a couple of his other titles.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I can not wait to read this to my girls! They love the Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast characters. Although I am partial Barron Von waffle myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a fun book.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The book sounds wonderful, and thank you so much for the super guidance regarding sequels. Generous and funny – that’s you, kind sir!


  17. OK, who WOULDn’t want a copy of one of Josh’s books?! 😀


  18. Congratulations, Josh, and another sweet book. Love your stories and your humor.


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