3 out of 4 stars
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Sigfried’s Smelly Socks is a children’s book that encourages the yucky humor of every 7-year-old to rise to the surface. The story follows a boy named Sigfried as he explains where every stain and smell in his book came from.
Sigfried’s character is ridiculous but also completely relatable. At one point he mentions dropping peanut butter and jelly on a page of his book and I immediately had flashbacks to all of the times I have dropped food onto novels after convincing myself that I “would be careful”. This reminder of my own grossness made me chuckle.
I loved all of the goofy drawings in the story, the eyes expressive and bulging in a way that screams “I am alive!”
While the cute rhymes and cartoons left me with a smile on my face, there were a few moments that left me shaking my head. At times the rhythm of the lines seemed off, particularly on the first page which sets up a nice beat until the last line, “Something stinks about this book. Go on and take a whiff. It’s a terrible smell as I’m sure you can tell... But do you have any idea what it is?” The playful tone and sing-songy sound seems to fall flat at the last minute, taking on a more direct prose.
Another aspect of the book that I found strange was the use of both photos and cartoon-like pictures. Mixing these images made me slightly uncomfortable, which could very well be the point in a book so focused on disgust, but it also gives off a less professional vibe. However, I doubt a child would care much either way and that is the intended audience.
Anyone who is completely opposed to bathroom humor or who wants a specific moral to be obviously present in a children’s book will not be interested in Sigfried’s Smelly Socks, but if your children still laugh at farts and could benefit from seeing how to spell words that they use on a regular basis, this is the book for you.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because although the sometimes awkward rhythm and realistic pictures made me cringe, the overall idea is a lighthearted laugh at the natural dirtiness of children and I could see myself cracking up with a giggling toddler as we read about the gross things these pages have endured. The book is not perfect in my eyes, but it is enjoyable, a great read for a silly, growing brain.
Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
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