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OPINION: That's one stinky dog!

"My Stinky Dog," by Christine Roussey. (Submitted photo)

Just how bad can a dog smell?

Author Christine Roussey calls it like it is in her new picture book, "My Stinky Dog."

The story begins with a young boy bragging about his dog, Alfred. Alfred is his best friend and a great soccer player. He even saved a fly from drowning.

But the boy acknowledges the truth.

Alfred stinks.

"His feet stink, his ears stink. His nose stinks, his back stinks, his belly stinks. He left eye stinks, and his right eye stinks ... From top to bottom, ALFRED STINKS."

Yet Alfred is still his best friend. So what will happen when his family moves to New York? Will Alfred be allowed to come along?

The boy gives Alfred a massive bath. But this leads to another problem—one that's worse than the odors. Yet it's a problem the boy can solve.

"My Stinky Dog" is a wonderful book about dogs, friendship, and faults.

It also has wonderfully quirky illustrations.

Near the beginning, Roussey includes a full-spread illustration of Alfred that points to his stinkiest places.

An arrow to the ears says, ""HERE, it's foul!" An arrow to the head says, "UP TOP, Stink-City!" An arrow to the end of the tail says, "OVER HERE, very smelly!"

She even has a "key" at the bottom of the page to help readers identify the blobs on Alfred's fur. (They refer to rotten mushrooms and crusts of stale cheese.)

The illustrations also extend the boy's thoughts and concerns. When he worries about the trip to New York, he imagines someone pushing Alfred out of the plane with a parachute.

"My Stinky Dog" is packed with humor and oddities. Yet underneath it's a traditional tale about the importance of loving others in spite of—or perhaps because of—their flaws.

"My Stinky Dog." By Christine Roussey. Abrams, 2018. 32 pp.

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