"Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway
by Beth Anderson; illus. by Jenn Harney
40 pages; ages 7-10
Calkins Creek, 2020
theme: biography, engineering, superpowers
James Kelly smelled everything.
Even circus elephants a mile away. But what good was the superpower of super-smelling? And how would it lead to a decent job? When he went to New York City he discovered a need for his nose: sniffing out leaks in the subway system. Leaking water could cause a cave in. Leaking gas could cause an explosion. Soon, James had a new name: Smelly Kelly.
He did more than just sniff for stinks. He studied up on chemistry, finding a powder that could help him identify leaky pipes. He invented gadgets to help him listen through walls for the sounds of drip, drip, dripping.
What I like about this book: I’d never heard of Smelly Kelly, so it was fun to read about someone who used his superpowers in a different way. I like the fun – and funny – way Beth Anderson tells his story. And I love the loads of back matter!
Beyond the Books:
Do you have a superpower? What is it? And how can you use it for the good of your family and neighbors?
Smelly Kelly makes a stethoscope so he can listen to leaks in walls. Here’s how you can make your own stethoscope.
You can read about James Kelly and the underground world he inhabited here.
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.