3 out of 4 stars
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Lien Foley’s book, Sigfried’s Smelly Socks is a children’s book. Sigfried is trying to find out what stinks about this book. His quest takes him from one page to the other. He discovers a lot of dirty things in each of these pages. The climax of the story is when he discovers a pile of unwashed socks, which he had kept beneath his bed. Actually, the socks are not the only things that stink about this book. The entire book contains a lot of his discoveries.
Len Foley uses colourful pictures and simple sentences to narrate this story. Though the story is dirty and could actually make one feel like throwing up, the author paints a very good picture of a stinking environment. The author also has a sense of humour.
The use of the book as a house for Sigfried is a unique concept. I enjoyed the author’s sense of humour. My reason is that children would enjoy reading this book. The ending of the book could have been better. I liked this least. My reason is that the moral lesson at the end of the book was lost. Also, a clean page would have made a better ending.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I didn’t give it a 4 because it didn’t end well. I can’t find the moral lesson for children. The lack of chapter arrangement in the book also influenced my decision. I didn’t give it a 2 because it didn’t have editing issues. It also had said some labelling challenges.
This book would appeal most to children below the age of 10. It has colourful pictures. It is also easy to read. It would appeal least to adults. It would also not appeal to anyone who doesn’t like a smelly and dirty environment.
Generally, everyone hates a dirty environment. Children are carefree and full of energy. A house like the one painted here is something they can easily identify with. The importance of cleanliness and order cannot be overemphasized. Though the author went into details about the stink, this is an ideal children’s environment.
In addition, a better title for this book would have been: “What Could Be Smelling?” not “Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!” The story was not all about his socks and its smells. There were a lot of other things that contributed to the stink.
Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
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