Sunday, May 1, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book One hundred and twenty-one

Not long ago my three dogs rolled in something that smelled truly awful. We tried to wipe and brush away the offending pong, but in the end all three had to have baths, and I had to use a great deal of flowery smelling shampoo to get the smell out of their coats. As I washed and rubbed I grumbled about the annoying habit that dogs have of rolling in nasty things.

For today's book I have the story of a dog who loves being smelly all the time. I guess I should be grateful that I don't have a pet like Smelly Bill.

Daniel Postgate
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Albert Whitman, 2010, 978-0-8075-7462-1
   Bill is dog who loves things that are smelly. “Muddy ponds and rubbish bins” are his favorite places because they are full of things to smell and disgusting things to roll in. Bill’s family do try to wash their stinky pet, but Bill is a wily fellow and he always manages to get away “to stink another day.”
   Then one day Bill’s family members go to the beach and Bill is left with Aunt Bleach, who is a clean fiend. As soon as she arrives at the house, Aunt Bleach gets to work and she cleans the house “from tip to toe.” Once this job is complete, Aunt Bleach focuses her attention on Bill. “It’s bathie-wathie / time for you!” she says, but Bill is not inclined to be cooperative, and soon he and Aunt Bleach are locked in a battle to try to outwit one another.
   Children who are not keen on having baths or showers will immediately feel a fondness for Bill and his stinky ways. They will laugh at loud as they follow Bill’s adventures, and will greatly appreciate the amusing ending.
   With a funny rhyming text and wonderfully expressive illustrations, this is a picture book that children will enjoy reading again and again.

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