4 out of 4 stars
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Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!, written and illustrated by Len Foley, is a picture book geared towards young children aged three to seven years old. The story follows Sigfried, a young boy who is desperately trying to figure out why his book smells so much! In this book, the reader joins Sigfried as he explores all the various stinky and gross smells he can think of while he tries to get to the bottom of his problem. Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! is meant to be a humorous page turner. The book is twenty-six pages long and includes many full-page illustrations.
First off, the artwork in this book is nothing short of eye-catching: the characters are drawn in a unique and funny manner, the colors are bright and contrast well, and the images can clearly be deciphered without reading the accompanying words. Further, the illustrations take up the full page, and the corresponding narrative is expertly placed so the words stand out but do not take away from the beautiful images. Overall, the illustrations were my favorite part of this book; however, be warned, some readers may find the images a little gross!
The story in this book is fairly basic; the narrative mostly focuses on describing gross-smelling things. I think some children and parents may be put off by the barrage of grossness, but there are definitely some youngsters who will find this book hilarious. Topics like dog pee, rotten foods, dirty diapers and, obviously, smelly socks are just some of the smelly and gross topics discussed in this book, nothing appears to be taboo for Sigfried! Additionally, the story has a cute and funny ending; as an adult I couldn’t contain my laughter as I flipped to the last page.
The narrative is told through short, rhyming paragraphs. I found the majority of the rhymes were clever and fun to read aloud. There were a few vocabulary terms used that the intended age group may not know. Words like ‘blubber lumps,’ ‘lard,’ and ‘kraut’ may be unfamiliar to children and will have to be explained. However, there weren’t too many of these words in the text, so the story should read fluidly for most children. Additionally, there aren’t many words on each page of this book, so early-readers should have no problem reading portions of the book, if not the whole book, independently.
Although I must admit that this book really wasn’t what I was expecting, I think there are a lot of young children (and adults) who will find this to be a laugh-out-loud read. Adults and children can read this book together and laugh and gawk at all the gross images the author has expertly illustrated throughout its pages. Since there are really no downsides to this book, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. However, I recommend this book to parents and children who find gross things funny, and I recommend this book be avoided by those that are easily put off by rotten food, bodily functions and reading about other gross smells!
Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
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