Stinky, by Eleanor Davis, is another Toon book.
Reminiscent of the hugely popular Shrek, the story is about a little monster who lives in the swamp at the edge of town. Stinky is afraid of kids-they eat apples and take baths, after all, and he doesn't want them near his swamp. However, when a boy wanders into the swamp and sets up fort, Stinky decides that he needs to get rid of him and hatches a plan.
This toon book was so cute that Jake and I were immediately enthralled. Detail in the illustrations add a great deal to the story, with everything from small rats playing cards to bugs cheering when Stinky is rescued from a predicament. While Stinky doesn't want to be friends with the boy at first and does everything he can to get him to go away, eventually he realizes that while they very different, he and the boy can learn to be friends.
As a read aloud, this book would be fun. There are lots of things to point out in the pictures and the story flows quite nicely. The message opens the door for discussion that while people might be different, there's no need to be afraid of them. You never know, sometimes the people most different from ourselves make the most interesting friends of all.
My favorite part? There's a map on the last page detailing the swamp and showing all the places talked about in the story.