Mom Knows Best: Stinky Feet the Dragon by Rhonda Stewart
ELVIN WAS A BEAUTIFUL DRAGON, WITH COLORS THAT SHIMMERED AND GLEAMED. HIS SCALES WERE LIKE PAINTED GLASS THAT SPARKLED WHEN THE SUN SHINED.
BUT ELVIN THE DRAGON HAD A PROBLEM.
No, it wasn't his fiery breath. It wasn't that his wings were too small to get him off the ground. It wasn't that he couldn't go out to play because he had to guard his hoard in the family lair.
HE HAD.. . STINKY FEET!
Who ever heard of a dragon with stinky feet? But whenever he came down the mountain to the playground to try to make friends withe the children, they shrieked and ran away. When he dropped in on the public pool, the swimmers screamed and scampered for home.
Trailing clouds of serious stink, Elvin the Dragon was draggin' his feet toward his mountain when Mr. Leatherman the shoemaker spotted him.
"WHAT'S WRONG, ELVIN?" MR. LEATHERMAN ASKED.But Elvin is not buying it. There's not a rainbow in sight as he drags his scaly tail up the winding path to his mountaintop.
"THE KIDS WON'T PLAY WITH ME BECAUSE I HAVE STINKY FEET."
MR. LEATHERMAN SMILED AND SAID, "YOU KNOW, ELVIN, JUST WHEN THINGS SEEM DARK, THERE'S USUALLY A RAINBOW RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER."
But Mom has a big hug and a BIG surprise in the stack of boxes waiting for him. Inside the boxes are all sorts of shoes.
"MOM! DRAGONS DON'T WEAR SHOES!" ELVIN SAID.
"THEY DO NOW!" MOM SMILED.
Who knew that shoes and fancy socks could counter his stinky feet? It's worth a try, and Elvin, shod in his new red sneakers, tries a casual approach to the kids in the park.
"HI, KIDS!"Nobody runs away, screaming and holding their noses. Elvin is no longer Stinky Feet the Dragon. He's just a friend come to play.
Everything's coming up rainbows for Elvin, in Rhonda Stewart's Stinky Feet, the Dragon (Inspiring Voices, 2015). Foot hygiene is an unusual playground problem, but it seems that dragon moms are up to the challenge in this simple little lighthearted tale. Cortni Green's artwork is done up in coloring-book styled blackline outlines filled in with colored pencil for the dragon, and faux naif drawings of the children--with, of course, the inevitable child-styled rainbow at the conclusion, which may just inspire young readers to pull out their pencils and crayons and create their own adventures for Elvin the Dragon.