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  • Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot


From Newbery Honor winner Cece Bell comes an offbeat, pitch-perfect storybook for beginning readers that will have them in fits of giggles.

“Maybe your foot smells good.  Maybe your foot smells great.  But I will not smell your foot until you say PLEASE.”

Meet Chick and Brain. And their friend Spot. Chick likes to follow the rules. Brain might not be as smart as he looks. And Spot just wants to eat lunch. In a graphic reader loaded with verbal and visual humor, Cece Bell offers a comical primer on good manners gone awry. Simple, silly, and perfectly suited for its audience, this tale of Chick and Brain’s constant misunderstandings and miscommunications proves once again that Cece Bell is a master at meeting kids where they are.---from the publisher

72 pages                                    978-0763679361                             Ages 4-8

Keywords:   humor, friends, friendship, rules, manners, fun, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old


Once upon a time beginning reader people started off their reading careers by reading about Dick, Jane and Spot.   Times have changed my friends.  Now we're reading about Chick, Brain and Spot.  Highly recommend you keep a close eye on Spot.  Looks like he has big plans.

Chick, a very small bright yellow chicken, is the best of friends with Brain, an odd duck who wears shorts covered in red hearts and no shirt and has a very prominent brain. In chapter one of four chapters, Chick is trying to communicate with Brain. But Brain just doesn't get what Chick is saying and he doesn't understand what Chick expects back from him.

It's slapstick conversation and hilarious miscommunication between two odd ducks. Chick struggles to get Brain to understand the rules, the manners, the etiquette of how a conversation SHOULD go. When to use please and thank you and when to say Hello back to someone are high on Chick's list.

Brain just doesn't catch on. But he's delighted to come up with his own conversation and he pretty much stops Chick in his tracks by saying, "Smell my foot."

If that doesn't give you the giggles, what will?

The book continues with a total of four chapters all of which conspire to create one story. Readers will wonder if Brain really is a smart guy. Readers will wonder if Chick will ever get Brain to say "You're welcome " at just the correct moment. Readers will figure out something is up and they will be hoping for and rooting for a chicken without a pot.

Short sentences, a nicely chosen spunky vocabulary with a lot of repetition, makes this a great reader for our readers who are just setting forth on the reading adventure. Hilarious and could easily come with a guarantee that it will create readers where doubt might have found a toehold.

Luckily, it looks like it's going to be a series. Hallelujah.

Keywords: Geisel Award Honor Book

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


Brain wants his buddy Chick to smell his foot.

“‘Smell my foot!’


‘Smell my foot!’

‘No. I will not smell your foot.’

‘Oh, come on! Smell it!’

‘Smell it now!’

‘No. I will not smell your foot.’

‘But my foot smells good.’

‘My foot smells great!’

‘Maybe your foot smells good.’

‘Maybe your foot smells great.’

‘But I will not smell your foot until you say PLEASE.’

‘Like this: Please smell my foot.’

‘Oh! OK!’


‘Woo! That is something else!’

‘Now you can smell my foot!’

‘No, no, no! You must say PLEASE.’

‘Say please, and then I will smell your foot.’

(Brain scratches his head.)


‘Please smell my foot.’

‘That is much better!’

‘Now I will smell your foot.’


Not all new readers have an easy time of it, or a natural passion for reading. For those who are struggling or reluctant, it helps to have noteworthy books to share, books that are crazy, silly, and fun.

Cece Bell’s CHICK AND BRAIN: SMELL MY FOOT! contains these elements that keep young readers reading. CHICK AND BRAIN (rhymes with Dick and Jane) turn the teaching of “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” into a running joke worthy of a comedy team. It’s also a memorable friendship book in which Brain rescues the clueless Chick from becoming Spot the dog’s lunch, thanks to Brain having a stinky foot up his sleeve.

Brain is a sight to behold. Either he’s got a brain setting atop his head, looking like an Afro, or an Afro looking like a brain. Furthermore, he’s garbed in white boxers with red hearts and his hands and feet are attached by stick figure arms and legs. Unfolding in comic book format, through four chapters, this beginning reader is guaranteed to hold the attention of goofy, active six-year-olds.

I’m hoping we’ll see another book featuring this odd pair of characters.

“‘Hey, Spot!’

‘Smell my foot!’

‘Not again!’”

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

See more of Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

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