Smelly Bill – Perfect Picture Book Friday

25 Sep

As part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’d like to present:

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.06.22 PM

I’m attracted to messy, silly, rhyming picture books for several reasons:

  1. They give kids a sense of the rhythm of language and help them predict the word at the end of a line.
  2. They entertain.
  3. They appeal to one’s sense of the absurd, especially the illustrations.
  4. Kids will want to read the book again and again and again….

“Bill the dog loved smelly things,

Like muddy ponds and rubbish bins.

Disgusting stuff he’d stick his snout in,

Sniff and snort and roll about in.”

Don’t you just love ol’ Bill, already?

And, if you are as astute as my son, you noticed that the author used the term “rubbish bin,” instead of “garbage can.” Yes, the author is British.

But back to ol’ Bill. He’ s one stinky character, until Great Aunt Bleach comes to visit (and clean the house).

“When every knife and fork was polished,

Every dirty mark abolished,

Great Aunt Bleach said, “What’s that smell?”

And that is when she spotted Bill.

Bleach twittered, “Come on, doggie-woo,

It’s bathie-wathie time for you!”

Now, for those of you who write in rhyme, I’m sure you noticed that the author plays a little fast and loose with “things” and “bins” as well as “smell” and “Bill,” but it didn’t trip me up as I was reading. And, for the most part, the meter is spot on.

So, for all the dog lovers (and rhyming picture book lovers) in the world who’ve ever tried to wrangle their pups into a bath,


Get me outta here!

this book’s for you. If you want to know what happens to Great Aunt Bleach, well, Smelly Bill exacts his own particular style of revenge. 

There’s also a sequel titled “Smelly Bill Stinks Again.” I’m sure he ran off right after the first book and rolled in some sweet skunk roadkill.

Better get the soaking tub ready….


Title: Smelly Bill

Author/Illustrator: Daniel Postgate

Ages: 3-6

Publisher/Pub date: Albert Whitman  2005

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7462-1


27 Responses to “Smelly Bill – Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Carrie Rubin September 25, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    What a cute book. Great title too!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 26, 2015 at 11:43 am #

      A very apropos title. Have you ever tried to wrestle a smelly creature into an unwanted bath? Other than your sons, of course. 😀

      • Carrie Rubin September 26, 2015 at 11:46 am #

        “Have you ever tried to wrestle a smelly creature into an unwanted bath?”—Sounds like something for the bucket list. 😉

  2. Clanmother September 25, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    I love the sunglasses! The idea of friendships comes through clearly and eloquently. 🙂

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 27, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      Dog don’t wear shades nearly enough! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Lady Fancifull September 26, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    Great Aunt Bleach – what a terrifically wonderful name

  4. Letizia September 26, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    What a darling book. I like that it rhymes but that there’s a looseness to that, drawing a little outside the lines so to speak. The fact that there’s a sequel is wonderful. Thanks for highlighting another charming book. I think I’ll get this one as a gift.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 26, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Yay! Yes, sometimes complete adherence to rhyme and meter detracts rather than adds to the pleasure of reading. This one has just the right touch. I’m sure the recipient will love it!

  5. FictionFan September 26, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    You have awakened hideous childhood memories of Sandy the poodle and the elephant poo…

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 26, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      Elephant poo!! Oh dear, I’m so sorry to have brought back memories of such a traumatic event. I hope you’re able to sleep tonight.

  6. Beth Anderson September 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Sounds fun! And we’ve all probably encountered a smelly dog – brings to mind a day long ago when my dog came home reeking of skunk! (that wasn’t fun – ha! )

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Ewww! My brother-in-law just had to deal with his dog being sprayed by a skunk. Makes you want to pay large amounts of money to get other people (and their gas masks) to deal with the result. I’ll bet you went through gallons of tomato juice!

  7. Britt Skrabanek September 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Smelly Bill! So cute. That’s my dad’s name, but he may not be amused if I get him this for Christmas. 😉

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      Especially if you partner it with some lovely scented soap. You’re right. A different gift would be certain not to offend. 😀

  8. Mrs. P September 27, 2015 at 6:15 am #

    I think I like Great Aunt Bleach!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 27, 2015 at 11:23 am #

      She exudes charm, along with a telltale trace of eau-de-biocide. 😀

  9. Lindsey McDivitt September 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    Too fun! I’m with you on silly rhyming book–thank you!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

      They are a hoot, aren’t they? Nothing like having a little fun with literacy as the goal. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Catherine Johnson September 28, 2015 at 7:38 am #

    Oh my that is fabulous! A must read for sure. Cheers, Jilanne!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

      I’m wondering how many people have traumatic dog washing stories? Do you?

  11. ThisKidReviewsBooks September 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    This sounds like a great book! 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

      It is, Erik! If you have a dog, you should read it to him/her. 😀

  12. Sheila September 29, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    I love the rhyming and the sound of the excerpts. It’s such a great idea for a children’s book since so many dogs love to roll around in that muddy, marshy stuff – the smellier, the better.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann September 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Yes, and the minute they are clean and sweet-smelling, they go off to find something even more smelly to roll in. 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Sheila!

  13. Ste J October 8, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    That title should appeal to everybody, if not then i give up my membership to the human race.

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