“Smelly Begins” by Cindy Lane

“Smelly Begins” by Cindy Lane 819 1024 Reader Views Kids

Smelly Begins

Cindy Lane
Tellwell Talent (2023)
ISBN: 978-1998190638
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views (12/2023)

When Adam and Luke learn that their mom is having a baby, they are so excited in “Smelly Begins: The Adventures of Smelly Rogers” by Cindy Lane. Since they both go by silly nicknames between each other, they know immediately that Victoria needs a nickname to rhyme with theirs. Luke’s nickname is Welly, Adam’s is Jelly, and since they want all nicknames to rhyme, they decide Victoria’s will be Smelly because she produces smelly diapers. Of course, this nickname is meant with the utmost affection from her brothers. But as Smelly grows up and starts attending school and extracurricular activities such as soccer, the boys know they can’t cheer their sister on using her Smelly nickname. So, they come up with a new nickname, Nugget, which will only be used out in public, so as not to embarrass Victoria in front of her teachers, coaches, and teammates.

First off, I thought this story was just too funny! I thought it was humorous that Adam and Luke had silly nicknames for each other, and without a second thought, wanted their new baby sister to have one as well. Picking Smelly as Victoria’s nickname because she produced some of the smelliest diapers, really made me laugh because of the boys’ mentality. I loved how they wanted to have Victoria as part of their group, so finding an appropriate nickname became priority number one for them. I really enjoyed reading about the close relationship the boys had with their sister throughout the years.

Another thing I really loved was how considerate the boys were when Smelly started playing soccer. They wanted to cheer her on, and realized yelling “Smelly” would embarrass Victoria, so they lovingly came up with Nugget as her nickname during her soccer games. I thought this was such a kind and sweet gesture of the boys that they took their sister’s feelings into consideration as she was getting older. To me, this showed a sense of maturity in both boys, while also showing love and consideration for their sibling.

As for the illustrations by Mimi Hong, I thought they were adorable and fit the story perfectly. I learned that the illustrator had been drawing animation since she was very young and even though as an adult was diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder, she learned to express her dreams through her images. The author, Ms. Lane, felt that Ms. Hong would be the perfect person to illustrate her Smelly adventures. In doing so, the author helped Ms. Hong in achieving her dream of becoming an official illustrator of a children’s book.

I also found it interesting that this story was written in rhyming style and had an upbeat tempo throughout the pages. Plus, it was fun to find out that this was based on true events, so it made the story completely believable as you read along. Ms. Lane wrote this story reflecting the positive values of the children while sprinkling plenty of humor throughout the pages. Overall, this was a fun story to read, and I enjoyed chuckling at Adam, Luke, and Victoria’s antics throughout the book. Well done! 

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