Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs


A collection of fourteen Silly Dilly songs, focusing on the silliest aspects of school—from smelly lockers and stressing about testing to class picture day and lunchroom angst—now in paperback, a format easy to carry, share, and pass around the classroom!

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A collection of fourteen Silly Dilly songs, focusing on the silliest aspects of school—from smelly lockers and stressing about testing to class picture day and lunchroom angst—now in paperback, a format easy to carry, share, and pass around the classroom!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
Katz is the Weird Al Yankovich of kids' books. To familiar tunes like "I'm a Little Teapot" and "Take Me out to the Ballgame," he adds lyrics that enable us to glimpse into school life from a child's point of view. With the help of Catrow's hilarious illustrations and the author's funny lyrics, we soon find out that the food served in the cafeteria may contain moving critter parts and that it's never good when the note you wrote to a friend gets intercepted by the teacher. Though many of the tunes are to songs from early childhood, older elementary students will still get a kick out of some of the situations presented here, like smelly lockers (which younger students are unlikely to have experienced yet). Like Weird Al and this author, they may be inspired to write their own lyrics using a well-known melody. Some students may even be adventurous enough to present one of Katz's songs for a school skit or talent show. Just don't tell anyone I suggested it. Reviewer: Maggie Chase
School Library Journal

Gr 1-5

The "Silly Dilly" duo is back again with an irreverent, entertaining commentary in song about school life. From an ode to the odiferous contents of a smelly locker (sung to "Frère Jacques"), to a selection bemoaning the complexity of math, 14 ditties set to well-known tunes capture the absurd, laughable commonalities of the school experience from a student's point of view. Other subjects include the "Lost and Found," a post-recess visit to the nurse, the horrors of cafeteria lunches, class-picture day, test stress, and "I Don't Want to Do Homework!" (to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"). With exaggerated features and hilarious body language, Catrow's expressive cartoon characters capture the bizarre and ridiculous elements of the text. Imaginative, witty details fill the illustrations: portraits of "ABE" and "GEO W" (that's George Washington) hang on the wall; math problems instead of numbers indicate a clock's time; random art and inexplicable phrases ("3Z-4 Shut the Door") fill chalkboard computations; and anticipated vacation fun abounds at "Camp GonnaKetchaItcheeRash." A few syllables may fit awkwardly with the tunes, but for fans of the other "silly dilly" songbooks or newcomers, this one is sure to please.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Kirkus Reviews
"Smelly locker! / Smelly locker! / Poor hygiene! / Foul and mean!" Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques," this little ditty introduces some 13 other rhyming celebrations of the school experience that piggyback on familiar tunes. "Stressed About the Test!" ("Miss Mary Mack"), "Heavy Backpack!" ("Oh! Susanna") and the rest each receive an energetic double-page spread, illustrated with Catrow's typical zest, which milks the situation depicted for all it's worth. Although the scansion requires some occasional wedging to fit properly, it's a solid companion to the duo's other Silly Dilly offerings and guaranteed to elicit a lockerful of giggles. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442402515
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 518,140
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Katz is the author of many seriously silly books for children, including the bestselling Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, illustrated by David Catrow. Alan lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with his journalist wife, Rose, and their four children. He can also be found at

David Catrow is the illustrator of numerous notable books for children, including the other Silly Dilly books, as well as Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Mr. Catrow is also a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist whose work appears in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as in nine hundred other newspapers. He lives in Springfield, Ohio.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Smelly Locker

    Katz, A. (2008). Smelly Locker: Silly dilly school songs. New York: Margaret K.
    McElderry Books.


    Smelly Locker is a part of a series of song collections. This book features 14 songs set to classic songs familiar to many kids. This collection explores aspects of school, including heavy backpacks, class picture day, the lunchroom, recess, oral reports, etc. Each song is paired with a colorful and humorous illustration.

    A problem that presents itself is the fact that not all children will be familiar with all of the songs used to create the general tunes for the song. I have to admit, I was naïve of one or two of them.

    Another issue I have with this text is the fact that I feel like kids should be the ones to make up their own songs based off of the tunes to "I'm a Little Teapot" and "London Bridge is Falling Down." Of course, such a fun exercise is still possible as long as a teacher reinforces the fact Katz's versions are just a jumping off point for creativity.

    Activities to do with the book:

    Since students may not know all of the tunes presented in this picture book, a teacher could instead challenge students to think of these songs as poems as well.

    A teacher could prepare a competition in which the students describe quirky aspects of their school building. The students could then sing and create a dance for the winning lyrics while the teacher records it.

    Having this book present in a classroom or home could also encourage children to create their own silly songs or poems about the activities in their lives to help them create meaning, see the funny aspects of daily routines or relax.

    Favorite Quotes:

    "Heavy backpack!
    So many pounds, I fear
    if I look up, I'm gonna
    topple over on my rear!"

    "Time for ,mul-ti-pli-ca-tion!
    Like two times three times three.
    The teacher knows the answer,
    So why's she asking me?"

    For more of my reviews, visit

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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