4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever wondered why we hang stockings on the mantle for Christmas? Well, Len Foley takes a stab at answering this question in his children’s book Santa’s Smelly Socks!
It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa and his team of reindeer are on their way to deliver gifts to the people of Sloppy Town. They’ve left him a surprise of their own, however. Santa’s absolutely disgusted by the piles of stinky, dirty laundry all around the town. How can Santa try to show them the error of their ways? Will they change their stinky ways?
Len Foley’s book is full of gross humor that would probably be most appealing to 3- to 8-year-old children. I was honestly expecting the book to be more about the gross humor than the plot, but I was pleasantly surprised. There’s a strong storyline with a nice twist that will teach children about both humility and the importance of keeping things - and ourselves - clean.
The illustrations in the book are a little eclectic, which makes them somewhat difficult to describe. There’s a backdrop that sets the scene, but then the details - like Santa, piles of dirty clothes, or the town sign - look like they’ve been pasted on top of it. Overall, it gives off a collage-type vibe. This style, along with the vibrant colors, really makes the focal points pop.
Sometimes, when text is placed on top of images, it can be difficult to read. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. Foley has fun with the text, varying the size, color, and font to emphasize certain words. There’s a rhyming scheme as well, which gives the story a nice cadence and rhythm.
I found a few errors, the majority of which involved absent dialogue tags. I didn’t find the errors distracting, however. So, I am happy to award this book 4 out of 4 stars. I thought it had a nice message, and the humor was just gross enough to be funny, but not so gross that it could be labeled as inappropriate. If you want to share a nontraditional Christmas story with your children, you should consider reading this one to them.
Santa's Smelly Socks!
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