Ah... Valentine's Day is upon us. Flowers. Chocolate. Love. Have you ever tried to read a love story to a group of elementary students? The girls giggle and the boys plug their ears (and make gagging sounds.) Trust me, I know. I've read my fair share of fairy tales to kids and I get the same reaction every time! If someone gets married in the book... forgetaboutit! I have even seen boys lay down on the ground and bury their face in their hands. There is one love story that is perfect for reading to kids:
Stinky Smelly Feet (A Love Story) by Margie Palatini is my favorite love story. Douglas the Duck is smitten with Dolores and Dolores is Smitten with Douglas (smitten takes the edge off... they don't know what smitten means!) One day, during a picnic lunch, Dolores invites Douglas to take off his shoes and let the grass tickle his toes. He does, and we discover that Douglas has a serious case of stinky, smelly feet. Douglas is very embarrassed by this discovery, but Dolores is unfazed. After she comes to, she lets Douglas know that it is ok, and may be he just needs a good, hot bubble bath. Douglas tries very hard to get rid of his odoriferous feet, but nothing works. The 2 love-ducks think that his shoes might be the culprit, and not his feet. So, they throw out all of his shoes and walk off down the street hand in hand, still quite smitten with one another. A happy ending? Yes, even though we discover that Douglas doesn't have stinky shoes, he indeed has stinky, smelly feet. But, this is a love story, right? Dolores loves Douglas so much that it doesn't matter how bad his feet smell- she loves him so much that she can overlook (or oversmell) this little problem.
This book is great for showing kids that despite our differences or our flaws, that we are still great people. And, if someone doesn't like you for who you are, you don't want to be friends with them. The kids don't even realize that they are learning a valuable life lesson because they are so busy laughing and pointing out the hilarious illustrations by Ethan Long- birds in gas masks, fish that go belly up from the smell. I love this book, my kids love this book, and I'm sure you will love this book too!