3 out of 4 stars
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Sigfried's Smelly Socks! by Len Foley is the charming story of a boy sharing his gross and yucky, stinky and smelly world.
Immediately upon opening up the book, I couldn't stop myself from smiling - the rich, vibrant colors bring me instantly back to my younger years, and the mix of art styles (both photographed and drawn art) bring to mind current shows like The Amazing World of Gumball with its similarly quirky, unique, and fun style of storytelling.
On that note, the images in this book are equally crisp and clean all around, and are put together in a highly professional manner. Photographs are crisp and clear, and the photo editing work done to merge photos with drawn images is superbly done. One such place I feel is worth noting is on page 12 where Sigfried is shown drawn to scale like a child in what is presumed to be his room, a bright and colorful place that makes a perfect match to the rest of the book's bright and quirky atmosphere.
About the only thing I could think of to consider "criticism" wise of this mixed use of images, would be to make their mixing more consistent. For example, considering Sigfried's room is shown to be a real bedroom, I think it would've been quite fitting for his "sock washing" scene to also show his surroundings to be in the "real" world, again making an excellent place to merge the two styles of art in a big way that'd tie together the artwork in the big finale of the book.
Overall it's the quirkiness and uniqueness which stands out to me most, resulting my rating this book with a much deserved 3 out of 4 stars - it's just the sort of thing I could imagine reading to a roomful of young children, resulting in much giggling and enjoyment for all! I can certainly imagine that a number of children might be more than happy to yell "eeew!" and "gross!" along with the story, or even chime in with "I've smelled that before!" It's truly a book written in a way that's quite easy to relate to, regardless whether one is a child or just a child at heart. The aforementioned somewhat inconsistent mixing of art styles between photography and drawings is about the only reason I do not give this book a crisp 4 stars. Sigfried's Smelly Socks! is honestly just a few art revisions shy of perfectly balanced, in my honest opinion, to make everything within truly feel well thought out and connected from first page to last.
In the end, only thing I'm left wondering is if, should this ever go to print copy, whether Sigfried's Smelly Socks! might include some sort of scratch-and-sniff feature... as someone who has never smelled some of the curious things listed in this book, especially those "mystery" smells, I'd certainly be interested to see the interactivity truly taken above and beyond what I can experience with my e-book copy!
I simply can't get enough of this charming book, and would recommend it to anyone looking to have a fun time reading and exploring such a stinky, smelly world with their child!
Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
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