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Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs Hardcover – July 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–5—The "Silly Dilly" duo is back again with an irreverent, entertaining commentary in song about school life. From an ode to the odiferous contents of a smelly locker (sung to "Frère Jacques"), to a selection bemoaning the complexity of math, 14 ditties set to well-known tunes capture the absurd, laughable commonalities of the school experience from a student's point of view. Other subjects include the "Lost and Found," a post-recess visit to the nurse, the horrors of cafeteria lunches, class-picture day, test stress, and "I Don't Want to Do Homework!" (to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"). With exaggerated features and hilarious body language, Catrow's expressive cartoon characters capture the bizarre and ridiculous elements of the text. Imaginative, witty details fill the illustrations: portraits of "ABE" and "GEO W" (that's George Washington) hang on the wall; math problems instead of numbers indicate a clock's time; random art and inexplicable phrases ("3Z–4 Shut the Door") fill chalkboard computations; and anticipated vacation fun abounds at "Camp GonnaKetchaItcheeRash." A few syllables may fit awkwardly with the tunes, but for fans of the other "silly dilly" songbooks or newcomers, this one is sure to please.—Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alan Katz has been a print and television comedy writer for more than twenty years. In addition to being a multiple Emmy nominee for his work on The Rosie O’Donnell Show and Disney’s “Raw Toonage,” he has written for children’s programming on Nickelodeon, ABC Television, Warner Brothers Animation’s Taz-Mania, and many others. Alan is the author of several adult humor books; he has written humorous essays for The New York Times and other publications. Alan lives in Weston, Connecticut, with his journalist wife, Rose, and their children Simone, Andrew, Nathan, and David. Visit him online at AlanKatzBooks.com.

David Catrow is the illustrator of numerous notable books for children, including the other Silly Dilly books, as well as Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Mr. Catrow is also a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist whose work appears in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as in nine hundred other newspapers. He lives in Springfield, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Repackage edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416906959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416906957
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave Millman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you know a child who sings a lot, or who makes up rhymes or new words to old songs, buy them this book. You will become their hero.

Smelly Locker is filled with fun new lyrics to old favorite songs. Everything is age appropriate for 6-10 year olds, and most of it even makes sense. Pull it out at a party or play date and pretty soon the whole group will be singing "I Don't Want To Do Homework" to the tune of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game". Don't worry, it's no more subversive than "No More Pencils, No More Books", and you know you sang that one when you were a kid.

Fun book, fun songs that will get kids singing.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have other Katz books that I use in my classroom so I looked forward to receiving this one and going through it before school begins. The children enjoy humorous poety. This one is just obnoxious, however. I get the impression that this is just another book that the author was encouraged to get "out there" as quickly as possible. I absolutely will not use this book with my students. The meter is often lacking. I am really disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The kids loved it, and even my husband said it was the kind of book he'd have liked to have when he was a kid. The only drawback was that my kids didn't know most of the songs that the poems are sung to the tune of, and I had to sing them for them the first few times. A drawback because my singing voice is like nails on a chalkboard.
So, except for bringing home the realization that there's a whole generation of whippersnappers out there that don't know the tune of "My Darlin' Clementine", this book was enjoyed by the whole family.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At first glance I thought that this was an obnoxious book. But after singing the songs with my kids and them loving it, I realize that they really are more silly than anything. It's the kids sense of humor that adds the real tone of the lyrics. If your kids are naturally out of control then this book wouldn't be for them. If you kids are more reserved then this book may be a source of fun and a way to release some school related frustrations or anxieties.

My kids thought these songs were hilarious. I agree.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a kid in the target age range for this book (6-11) and she adores Smelly Locker. The books is a compilation of well-known songs with brand new lyrics that all have to do with being a school kid.

When I was a youngster, the only parody I recall us having was to the tune of "Heigh Ho" from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Heigh ho, Heigh ho, I bit the teacher's tow, that dirty rat she bit me back, heigh ho, heigh ho....

Smelly Locker is much the same but with more style and sophistication - and actually is about things that do happen to a kid in school like having a dirty locker, being banned from band and having a backpack that weighs as much as the school.

While it's summer vacation, my kid can't annoy her teachers with these lyrics yet, but give her a few weeks.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In my opinion this book is quite funny and worth getting. The drawings certainly are cute and really well done. It's a slim volumn that should be good for kids in the first few grades of school. However, this is my opinion and not the opinion of experts. I will submit this book to experts, my three grandchildren (boys), and post their opinions here at a later date. I found the songs easy to apply to the supplied ditties. My grandchildren may or may not already know the songs, but should quickly learn them to go with the lyrics. The real question is whether they will find the lyrics funny. I'll find out this weekend.

Results: Age 10 was too sophisticated in his own mind, but admitted that some of it was pretty good.
Age 8 thought it hilarious. Age 6 didn't really get it, but there were a couple of G-rated food items he thought was worth a giggle.
All of them liked the drawings. So much for experts.

We are all going on a family beach vacation in a couple of weeks where there is nothing distracting to do in the evenings (no sports, no tv, no friends), just family. We'll test the "Smelly Locker" again under more controlled circumstances. The title, by the way, was a winner.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Smelly Locker is a cute rhyming book of silly songs set to the tune of classic songs such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Alphabet Song and London Bridge is Falling Down. The book is colorfully illustrated and my son enjoyed the drawings, asking questions about them.

Kids love rhyming and being silly so this book is a real hit with them. I just wish the publisher had included a CD with the songs set to music because I never seem to be able to remember how the tunes go well enough to sing them to my sons. I just end up reading the songs to them as stories.

The book is another great way to prepare children for school and make the days ahead seem like fun to them.
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I got this book to share with my two daughters (ages 5 and 3) who really enjoy reading and being read to. I thought we would sit down and read a few of the poems at a time but, as it turns out, we read the entire book in one sitting! It is not a long book but it is so entertaining, we could not quit reading! The book is hilarious -- all three of us were laughing hysterically as we turned the pages.

I think the greatest appreciation comes from anyone who has attended school and can relate to the topics (i.e., finding unknowns in your locker that have been there for the entire year, doing a dreaded oral report, the disdain of constant homework, the mystery meat provided by the lunchroom, getting caught in the hall without your "hall pass",...). The poems are set to old time popular tunes ("Take Me Out to the Ball Game", "Oh My Darling Clementine", "Frere Jacques", "Home on the Range", "I'm a Little Teapot","The Battle Hymn of the Repbulic",...) which make them exciting and fun.

I love Alan Katz books and this one did not disappoint -- it lives up to the reputation of his others. David Catrow's illustrations are fabulous too. I would recommend this book to anyone with young children. You will not be disappointed.
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