Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Big Smelly Bear

Big Smelly Bear

Britta Teckentrup
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Boxer Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-1905417377

Big Smelly Bear never washed or brushed himself, and not surprisingly this meant that he stank to high heaven. In fact he stank so badly that the only animals who were willing to be around him were flies. The rest of the animals in the forest ran away when they saw Big Smelly Bear coming their way. Most of the time Big Smelly Bear did not mind being alone, but there were times when he thought that “it would be nice to have a friend.”

   Then one day Big Smelly Bear’s life took a dramatic turn for the worse. Big Smelly Bear’s skin began to itch, and he could not reach the itch because it was on his back. Nothing Big Smelly Bear did helped. Then pretty Big Fluffy Bear told Big Smelly Bear that she would help him except for the fact that he was too smelly. She suggested that he should have a bath because a bath would solve both his itch problem and his smelliness problem. Big Smelly Bear did not want to have anything to do with having a wash because he was convinced that he did not need one.

   Many children are convinced that bathing should be classified as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. As far as they are concerned, bathing doesn’t even make sense. What is the point of getting clean if you are just going to get filthy again? In this delightful book we meet a bear who thinks that baths are unnecessary and children are going to enjoy seeing what happens to the bear when his filthy and smelly condition creates a rather unpleasant problem.

   With a cleverly written text and wonderfully expressive, often amusing, illustrations, this book is sure to delight children who hates baths but who like bears.