Smell the Daisies
Smell the Daisies
“Sally Mander, you will have to leave.”
“Because Sally Mander is not wearing the proper attire .”
Big Word! Big Word!
Oleander and her pet salamander, Sally Mander, are going out for breakfast. They encounter a pesky bird and a fat juicy worm. After a raucous argument, Bird eats the worm over Sally’s objections. Sally wants him to regurgitate it quickly! Their magical friend, the Sprinkle Fairy, urges Bird to do this, or she will turn him into a hot dog! Several of the characters in this book are obsessed with words. The Sprinkle Fairy owns a word factory in Sicily where the, “best words in the world come from.” Her helpers (the Sprinklers) “sprinkle Big Words into small places.” Whenever readers spot a Sprinkler in the story, they are alerted to a new “big word” coming.
The five stories in this book present interesting new “big words” for young readers. In “The Early Bird and the Worm”, readers meet Oleander and Sally Mander as they encounter Bird who must “regurgitate” a worm. In “No Bare Feet”, the two friends can’t eat at the diner because barefoot Sally Mander does not have the proper “attire”. When they meet the Sprinkle Fairy exercising in “Stronger by the Minute”, Sally Mander displays her own great strength, and Oleander is “flabbergasted”. Oleander asks Sally Mander to help her plant daisies, in “Smell the Daisies”, but Sally spends her time “procrastinating”. And finally, in “Time for Tea”, the friends have tea with the Queen and discover Sally Mander’s “peccadillo”.
Smell the Daisies is the third book in the “Big Words Small Stories” series. Oleander and her salamander pet Sally Mander are interesting characters who love to talk about their activities: meeting new individuals, going to the diner, exercising, planting daisies, and having tea with the Queen. Readers will experience new “big words” and learn both their meanings and pronunciation through the graphic elements of this book.
The illustrations by T. L. McBeth are simple, vibrant, and amusing. They give readers a great deal of visual information about the narrative and allow the characters to express their emotions through their expressions and their actions. The vocabulary of this short chapter book written by Judith Henderson is accessible and enlightening. The use of “big words” will definitely appeal to both emergent and fluent readers as they transition to chapter books.
Myra Junyk, who lives in Toronto, Ontario, is a literacy advocate and author.