Toe Butter’s feet stink and this is a problem for those who live around him. As he quickly grows into a gentle and caring giant, so too does the smell from his giant feet! Although shunned by everyone, Toe Jam as he is nicknamed by villagers continues to look after them, shielding them from strong winds and flood waters. No matter how hard he tries, he remains alone and unable to live with the villagers, until his kind heart delivers the ultimate sacrifice to save the villagers, forming a Wharenui.
The illustrations with their muted and limited colour palette are full of expression, little details and movement, bringing you into the pages, whisking you into the world of Toe Jam, the villagers and the rich landscapes they live in.
The book is a tall rectangle, just like a giant! It feels special to hold in your hands in this tall format with quality matte pages. The text is small on the pages, with negative space around the text, this cleverly brings the book close to you to read it, which in my opinion enhances the reading experience, drawing you into the story.
I loved this story of kindness, highlighting acceptance and understanding of differences. A must for any bookshelf and especially for anyone with an interest in Maori mythology. A fabulous read aloud, humorous, engaging illustrations delivering a strong social message.
Title: The Smelly Giant
Illustrator: Laya Mutton-Rogers
Publisher: Huia Publishers
Date of Publication: October 2019
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: Waioma, a cold stream that flows from the base of Mt Mimi.
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