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My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits Hardcover – May 8, 2007

24 customer reviews

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My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits + My Best Friend Is As Sharp As a Pencil: And Other Funny Classroom Portraits + You're Toast and Other Metaphors We Adore (Ways to Say It)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–4—Filled with plays on words and similes, this delightful offering will encourage children's creativity. The narrator makes a line drawing of her family but explains that it doesn't do them justice. "And what about this drawing of my mom? Sorry, but it doesn't tell the whole story. My mommy is as soft as the softest FLUFF and as bright as the brightest LIGHT." This section ends, "That's my yummy mommy!" The gouache-and-watercolor illustrations are embellished with glued-on objects like a lightbulb for a nose, a croissant for a mouth, and a boa for hair, in this case on Mom. The pictures support the text and add to the subtext. The book ends with an invitation to readers to create images of their families. Younger children will enjoy the story, but older kids will love the nuances, the opportunity for individuality, and the challenge of portraying their own relatives in this style. An author's note describes a workshop that Piven conducted for children hospitalized with cancer; their wonderful creations adorn the endpapers.—Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In his previous books, author-illustrator Piven created portraits of presidents and famous athletes with found objects. In this book, the portraits are of a fictional family, including their dog, Schmutz. Objects here stand in for physical characteristics tied to the similes used to describe each family member. Dad is as "jumpy as a spring," "as playful as a spinning top," etc. Poor Schmutz is as "stinky as one onion" (pictured as his tail), "as nasty as canned fish" (his front paws), "as icky as pepperoni" (his snout), and so forth. The final two pages show objects children might use to make their own family portraits. Childlike line drawings are paired with the more creative portraits, in which representational objects are glued on gouache-and-watercolor backgrounds to make the figures. Children will get caught up in this playful, fun, creative, and easy-to-do art concept and will want to follow through with their own creations. Randall Enos
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375840524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375840524
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The colorful and witty illustrations of Israeli illustrator Hanoch Piven have appeared throughout the last 20 years on both sides of the Atlantic: in most major American magazines and newspapers such as Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and in many European publications from The London Times to the Swiss Die WeltWoche.

Piven's award winning book "What Presidents Are Made of" was elected by Time Magazine as one of the 10 Best Children's Books of 2004.
Several illustrations from that book are in the permanent collection of the Prints and Photographs Division of The Library of Congress in Washington DC.
Piven has published 6 other children's books in the USA, the latest being "My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil" (Schwartz and Wade, Random House - 2010) and "Let's Make Faces" (Atheneum - Simon and Schuster - 2013)

In Israel, Piven has gained great visibility due to his long time collaboration with the daily Haaretz and through his TV show on the pre-K channel HOP TV and on the Education Channel.

His method has been implemented educators in Israel as a means to help develop creativity amongst children.

Website: www.pivenworld.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Dael on July 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book at Border's while waiting for the 7th Harry Potter book to be released at midnight. My son (10 years old) and It thought it was really a great book. In the book, a little girl uses objects to "draw" her family. For instance....Poor Schmutz, her dog, is as "stinky as one onion" (pictured as his tail), "as nasty as canned fish" (his front paws), "as icky as pepperoni" (his snout), and smelly as a dirty sock (his ears). The final pages instruct kids how to "draw" their own family portrait using "things". I loved the book because it was so imaginative and funny, but also because it encourages kids to develop their own portraits at the end which should definitely stir their creative juices. This is a wonderful book for all ages.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jill Griffin on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As part of my friends and family unit I read this book to my preschool children.They loved the colorful pictures and creative objects used to describe and illustrate family members. The children then created their own art projects to take home and share with their own families using precut colored paper, pastels, markers, painted clothes pins, and glue. I would recomend this book to all educators and parents of young children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Hanoch Piven's MY DOG IS AS SMELLY AS DIRTY SOCKS AND OTHER FUNNY FAMILY PORTRAITS tells of an artistic little girl who has problems trying to capture her family's fun emotions on paper. Her use of everyday objects to explore and express emotions makes for a fun, lively presentation using rich full-page visual images to reinforce playful text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KEUN HO YOON on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book reminds me of my family. it's funny how this book describes each family member. I have a Aunt, Uncle, a mom, Dad, Grandpa,
Grandma, and another Grandma. My dad is funny.. and my mom is serious and happy sometimes. My mom is a serious mom. My Dad is
a clownish silly funky dad. I am silly too. I want to tell something: This book is very good and it uses household items to describe the faces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kmiller on May 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book to teach similes. Fun pictures. My third graders loved it. They laughed out loud as I read it!
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By M. Heiss on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding, creative book that is a riot to read. The kids enjoy this so much -- it is funny and the illustrations are creative.

But wait! There's more.

The book teaches about similes in a fast but memorable way. The book isn't long and it doesn't belabor the point, but your kids will not forget how to construct similes.

Enjoy this one with your kids! They will probably want to make portraits after they read it!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an art teacher, I was delighted at this approach to assemblage. It's clever and adorable in general, but can be used as a juming off point for so many different themes: collage, metaphor/simile, recycled junk art, found objects, portraits, etc. It practically dares you to create your own personalized portraits of family and friends, complete with amusing symbols. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My Dog is Smelly...is an effective tool for understanding similes. It is unique in two ways: The similes use a variey of objects beyond the obvious to represent personality types, such as, "strong as stone" and "faster than a calculator". Secondly, it leads nicely into a simile writing exercise that also reinforces the characteristics of personality traits.
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My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits
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