Sunday, December 1, 2019

Review - You Smell!

You Smell!
by Clive Gifford
illustrated by Pete Gamlen
Date: 2019
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Everyone smells! The sense of smell plays a crucial part in survival, communication, and taste, and is the basis of a multi-billion-dollar industry. But, despite all this, it's the sense we often know least about.

This hilarious and fact-packed book puts that right. Find out everything you could ever want to know about stinks, whiffs, and pongs, from the fruit so pungent it's banned from public transport to the top-secret military program developing the stinkiest stink bomb.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

You Smell! is a strong non-fiction title for kids that's all about the wonderful, disgusting, hilarious, and diverse world of odours. I don't think I've enjoyed a non-fiction book quite so much in a long time.

Each spread covers a different topic (everything from how smells work, to animal scents, to the odours of outer space) and is illustrated with simple illustrations. There's quite a bit to look at and read on each page, and readers are probably going to learn a lot. Some of the information is almost too incredible to be believed, but it's all presented in a clear manner that's easy to understand.

If I have one complaint about this book, it's that it's extremely British. (If I ever hear the word "pong" again, it'll be too soon.) There is a glossary at the back that explains some of the words related to scent, but I really think what this book needs is a glossary of British terms, especially if it's going to be released in North America. (Words like "wee", "poo", and "bottom"--which are used liberally--won't be as much of a problem... but "pong" and "spot" might be a little trickier to figure out.)

That said, however, I would still recommend this book, especially to kids who are familiar with these words (or who have someone who can help translate). It's a fascinating look at the world of smells. It does get a bit gross at times, but it's actually pretty tame and probably won't trigger anyone's gag reflex too much.

Thank you to NetGalley and Laurence King Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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