Tuesday, February 24, 2009

REVIEW: Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs

Katz, A. (2008). Smelly Locker: Silly dilly school songs. New York: Margaret K.
McElderry Books.


Smelly Locker is a part of a series of song collections. This book features 14 songs set to classic songs familiar to many kids. This collection explores aspects of school, including heavy backpacks, class picture day, the lunchroom, recess, oral reports, etc. Each song is paired with a colorful and humorous illustration.

A problem that presents itself is the fact that not all children will be familiar with all of the songs used to create the general tunes for the song. I have to admit, I was naïve of one or two of them.

Another issue I have with this text is the fact that I feel like kids should be the ones to make up their own songs based off of the tunes to “I’m a Little Teapot” and “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Of course, such a fun exercise is still possible as long as a teacher reinforces the fact Katz’s versions are just a jumping off point for creativity.

Activities to do with the book:

Since students may not know all of the tunes presented in this picture book, a teacher could instead challenge students to think of these songs as poems as well.

A teacher could prepare a competition in which the students describe quirky aspects of their school building. The students could then sing and create a dance for the winning lyrics while the teacher records it.

Having this book present in a classroom or home could also encourage children to create their own silly songs or poems about the activities in their lives to help them create meaning, see the funny aspects of daily routines or relax.

Favorite Quotes:

“Heavy backpack!
So many pounds, I fear
if I look up, I’m gonna
topple over on my rear!”

“Time for ,mul-ti-pli-ca-tion!
Like two times three times three.
The teacher knows the answer,
So why’s she asking me?”

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