Smell the Daisies by Judith Henderson, illustrated by T.L. McBeth. Kids Can Press, 9781771387903, 2019
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? This is my first time seeing the Big Words Small Stories books (there are two others The Missing Donut and Traveling Dustball) and I absolutely love them! The former language arts teacher in me endorses anything that teaches children “big words”. This book contains seven small stories–the first story introduces all the characters such as Oleander, Sally Mander, the Sprinkle Fairy and the Sprinklers (when you see them coming you know you are about to see a big word). The last story in the book includes all the big words seen in the book. Each story features words that might be new to young children such as “regurgitate”, “attire”, “flabbergasted”, “procrastinate”, and “peccadillo”. The stories are cute and silly and the big words are used in a way that children will clearly understand their meaning. I think kids will get a kick out of seeing the Sprinklers show up in the story because that provides some anticipation of the big word to come. What I also like about this book is that these are words I could see kids using every day–for fun of course, but can you just picture a young child walking around saying “flabbergasted”.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing.
To whom would you recommend this book? I think this book has a wide audience but might be better suited for ages four up to early elementary school. The stories are silly so kids will enjoy them even if they do not really care about learning some “big words”. I could see this book being used at the early elementary school level, especially when working on writing exercises as a way of encouraging children to think about the words they choose–they might get a kick out of seeing how much fun it is to use “attire” instead of “clothes”, “regurgitate” instead of “throw up”, and “flabbergasted” instead of “surprised”.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, day care centers and preschools.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: October 25, 2019