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Children's Nonfiction Anatomy & Physiology

Stinky Science

Why the Smelliest Smells Smell So Smelly

by (author) Edward Kay

illustrated by Mike Shiell

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Anatomy & Physiology, Sense & Sensation, Curiosities & Wonders
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


This book about the science of smells takes a funky subject and makes it fascinating --- and hilarious! It starts with the basics, from the reason why things stink to how our sense of smell works (hint: it has to do with the six million scent receptors way up inside our noses). Then come some specifics such as how and why smells are closely linked to memories, descriptions of some of the stinkiest stinks on Earth and information about the chemicals that smells are made of. (Young readers finally learn why feet and some cheeses can smell the same!) Altogether, the book offers a complete tour of everything olfactory, while also being a compendium of the best-of in the gross-out category. Poop, rotting flesh, b.o.: what more could a “nose-y” kid ask for?

Edward Kay is an award-winning children's television writer and science writer. Here he uses his knack for knowing what kids like to create an entertaining, laugh-out-loud book that's thoroughly researched and full of up-to-date facts. It offers strong curriculum links in the life sciences, particularly the human body structure and systems, and molecules and organisms. Adding to the fun are the funny comic-style illustrations by Mike Shiell on every page. (Yes, of course, there's farting!) Kids may not even notice they're learning science! A glossary and index round out this terrific book.

About the authors

EDWARD KAY is a Toronto-based, award-winning screenwriter, journalist, and author. He co-created the animated children’s series Ollie’s Under-the-Bed Adventures (which won a Gemini Award for Best Animated Program) and has contributed to numerous animated and live-action programs for Cartoon Network, Teletoon, YTV, and TVO. Edward is also the author of the children’s novels STAR Academy and Dark Secrets. Visit him at

Edward Kay's profile page

Like most kids, Mike liked to draw and once he started to get recognition for his drawings, he drew more and more. He also liked to make people laugh, so put those two things together and you have a cartoonist on your hands.Many of Mike's funny ideas come from observing the world around him and twisting everyday occurrences into funny and sometimes totally absurd cartoons, drawings and short animated films. Mike's cartoons and illustrations have appeared in many magazines, books and greeting cards in North America and Europe. His animated series, The Melon Shorts, has appeared in numerous film festivals around the world and has won a number of awards.Mike is the illustrator of the Gross Science series of books written by Edward Kay. The three titles in the series are Stinky Science, Germy Science and Poopy Science. Both Stinky Science and Germy Science are being adapted into an animated TV series. Mike is excited to be making his debut as an author-illustrator with the graphic novel Linty: A Pocketful of Adventure.Even on his most stressful and not-so-fun days, Mike reminds himself that he is making a living doing the thing that he had dreamed of doing when he was a little kid ... so he tries not to be too whiny. Instagram: @linty2022 Facebook: @linty2022 Twitter: @Wandering88

Mike Shiell's profile page


  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award, BC Young Reader's Choice Awards
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

A good introduction to the science of scent certain to hook reluctant scientists (and readers) with its yuck factor.

Kirkus Reviews

... kids will be drawn to the book for its more pungent thrills.

Quill & Quire

... fearlessly fun and fascinating ...—CM Magazine

This delightfully disgusting title exploring the science of stench is sure to hook young readers with yuck-appeal!—Canadian Children's Book News

Kids who are attracted to bathroom talk and oddity trivia will be drawn to this title ...

School Library Connection

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