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mo's nose author, illustrator, and dog Margaret Hyde (left) with best friend and illustrator Amanda Giacomini and the real life Mo! (Photos: ©2009 Courteney Cooolidge)

Mo's Smelly Adventures

Readers smell along in Mo's Nose

By Jordan Kahrhoff | April 16 , 2010

Mo's Nose, A Scentsational Journey book series
By Margaret Hyde
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Mo's Nose, LLC


Mo is the main character in a series of books written by Margaret Hyde. Mo Smells Red, Mo Smells Green, Mo Smells Blue, and Mo Smells the Holidays take readers on different journeys through the eyes and nose of Mo, a rescue dog. Yes, the nose of Mo!

The Mo's Nose Scentsational book series include Press-2-Smell features so readers can smell along as Mo explores the world of colors through the Earth's living creatures. Mo Smells Blue, for example, takes Mo and his readers to the beach where he encounters salt and sand and sea.

Hyde came up with the ideas for these books from events in her own life. Mo is based on an actual rescue dog from the streets of California who now lives with Hyde's best friend and book illustrator, Amanda Giacomini.

By using a rescued dog as the main character, Hyde said she hopes to introduce children to the idea of helping others and giving back.

Even the way she produces the books helps the environment. All the books are printed within a 200-mile radius of where she lives. They are printed with soy ink on recycled paper.

"When writing Mo, it was very important to me to be more mindful of what we were doing with the books," she told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

The idea for the Press-2-Smell feature came from Hyde's days as a kid—she loved scratch and sniff stickers!

"In humans, our sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than any other sense," she said. "It is also the first sense we have when we are born. When I wrote Mo, I thought that in our own life we use our sense of smell to explore, remember and enjoy things so, why couldn't the same things happen in a story?"

All the scents in the book are made with 100 per cent pure essential oils found in lime and roses. Hyde said that she would like to incorporate the sense of touch along with smell in a future book.

When asked to review the books, I decided to test them on my brother's kindergarten class. The books' Press-2-Smell features were great because the kids got to be a part of the story. They all seemed to have different reactions to different scents, each of which last for about a thousand different sniffs.

I read the books to my 5-year-old brother. He can't read yet, but he was able to see and smell along as we followed Mo's journey. He really enjoyed it.

Hyde is not only an author. She is also an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, publisher, and photographer. She lives in Southern California with her three kids, and is very active in service work. She works to raise awareness about humane groups across the country, and in helping young girls become writers.

The program is called WriteGirl, a mentoring program for teen girls in Los Angeles County. By the end of the program girls have the ability and the confidence to stand up and read their work before a crowd. Hyde hopes to expand the program to her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and also to Boston, Massachusetts.

"I've seen young girls who didn't even think they could write, stand up and read poems and stories in front of auditoriums full of people," Hyde said. "It is very inspiring."

Hyde has written other books, including a modern take on Goldilocks, called Dreadilocks and the Three Slugs. She also wrote two children's books about art, Picasso for Kids and Matisse for Kids.

I enjoyed the Mo's Nose books and the way Hyde connects with young readers. I would recommend the books to anyone. They are a new reading experience for all ages. I, along with my little brother, plan on joining Mo on more of his journeys!

EARTH DAY @ 40

Celebrate 40 years of Earth Day and the fight to keep our planet clean on April 22. Scholastic Kid Reporters explore ways to make every day Earth Day in the Earth Day @ 40 Special Report.

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