Skunk and Badger

Picture of the book cover of "Skunk and Badger."

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Book Review

Skunk and Badger looks in on a certain badger named, well, Badger who gets an unexpected new roommate named Skunk. But not everybody wants a skunk as a housemate, especially such an outgoing and talkative one. In fact, skunks of all stripes are generally unwelcome on your front stoop.

Plot Summary

Badger isn’t one for enjoying visitors. In fact, he isn’t one for enjoying other animals at all! He’s much more comfortable slipping into his safety glasses—with hammers, chisels and brushes at the ready—and doing some Important Rock Work in his specially set-aside rock room. In fact, as the sole resident of his aunt Lula’s brownstone, Badger is very contentedly happy to devote his day to a solo life befitting of a serious rock scientist.

So, when Skunk comes strolling in the front door of said brownstone with a slick how-do-you-do and a decidedly skunky grin, Badger is more than ready to throw him right back out on his skunky tail. The problem is, Aunt Lula sent Skunk over herself. She also sent three lengthy letters beforehand—letters that the important-rock-business-minded Badger had not yet found time to read—to explain her reasons why.

Badger quickly reads the letters:

“I hope this arrangement doesn’t come as a shock. In a previous letter I asked for your thoughts but have heard nothing. I would wait for a reply, but Skunk’s living situation is so precarious, so I will take your lack of response as agreement. I expect you’re busy with Important Rock Work!”

With that, Badger now has a new roommate. And he’s a happy, talkative, always-moving-about skunk. A skunk who upsets Badger’s world and touches Badger’s tools. And he’s a skunk that even enjoys inviting flocks of neighborhood chickens over to the house for popcorn and story time.

How will they ever, ever, ever, EVER get along?

Christian Beliefs

There’s nothing pointedly spiritual in the book. But Badger and Skunk’s story does deal with the Christian values of being thankful for gifts given and being generous with the abundance we have. And their tale also looks at how we love others—even those we don’t particularly like—and how we ask for, and give forgiveness when wrongs are done.

Other Belief Systems

None.

Authority Roles

You could see Aunt Lula as a parental type who is more than willing to lend her brownstone to those who can’t afford something of their own. And, from a distance, she nudges her two boarders to get along and learn from each other. And if possible, learn to like one another, too.

The blustery Badger takes on the role of authority and “rule-setter” as well. He, on the other hand, doesn’t always make the best of choices during tense moments of trouble. And he has to learn to humble himself and ask for forgiveness for his actions (something that even parents must learn to do).

Profanity & Violence

There’s no foul language in this tale other than a few chicken’s screaming out things such as, “Bock-bock-bockety. Bock-bock!” (Not speaking chicken, myself, I don’t know how far those exclamations may go.)

On the violence side of the equation, we do read of some messy chicken damage. And we hear of a stoat (a short-tailed weasel) that has some chicken-grabbing (and, it’s subtly suggested, chicken-eating) goals in mind. But both Badger and Skunk stand up to this critter and send him away.

Of course, since the tale includes a skunk, there is a skunk spraying scene that ends in some very smelly hurt feelings.

Sexual Content

None.

Discussion Topics

What do you think this book is saying about people who are very different from each other? Do you think those kinds of folks can still get along? Have you ever met someone who you just didn’t like? What did you do? How do Skunk and Badger change by the end of the book?

Badger actually had a pretty nice place to live in, thanks to his Aunt Lula, but he wasn’t very happy about sharing something that didn’t even belong to him. Have you ever acted like that? What do you think this book is saying about sharing? And are there people that the chickens in the book remind you of? How should you deal with them?

Get free discussion questions for other books, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments

This is a book designed for young readers, and older readers who might just like to read along. It uses a quirky anthropomorphized tale to help kids look at problems of life and feelings they might have, and asks them to think about how they might deal with them.

You can request a review of a title you can’t find at [email protected].

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Review by Bob Hoose

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