My Dog Is as Smelly as Dirty Socks and Other Funny Family Portraits by Hanoch Piven

A picture can speak a thousand words, as the saying goes, but it’s often woefully inadequate when it comes to representing people and all the qualities — both their good and less desirable attributes — that make them who they are.

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In My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks, the irrepressible young narrator is dissatisfied with her simple pen-on-paper family portrait because she feels that it doesn’t “tell the whole story”. For instance, it doesn’t show how playful her dad is, how “tasty” her mum is, how loud her baby brother is, or — indeed — how smelly her dog is.

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So, she embarks on an alternative family portrait that is unlike any other, by matching carefully chosen objects, as well as random bits and bobs that she just so happens to have on hand, to her list of adjectives for each person, à la wacky similes, and then using these to ‘reconstruct’ her family more accurately in spirit. Genius!

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Not only will this funny and crazy-creative book inspire kids to get started on their own ‘objectified’ collage-style portraits, but it also helps with vocabulary building and challenges them to think laterally in terms of how various adjectives can be more innovatively represented instead of sticking to the usual cliches.

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p.s. The author has also included an ‘object dictionary’ of sorts at the end of the book as a helpful guide and source of inspiration.

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