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"Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway (Hardcover)
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James "Smelly" Kelly used his super-senses and intelligence to make sure that the New York City subway in the 1930s ran safely throughout his lifetime and beyond.
James Kelly smelled EVERYTHING: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow's rain. His sense of smell was EXTRAORDINARY. But what good was a powerful nose? How could his super-sniffer make him special? In the New York City subway, James found his calling--and earned the nickname "Smelly" Kelly. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre. Then, he sprang into action to prevent cave-ins and explosions in the tunnels beneath the city. Smelly Kelly not only hunted leaks but also saved lives--and he discovered the truly extraordinary power inside him. Beth Anderson's fast-paced text and Jenn Harney's comical illustrations bring to life this everyday superhero.
About the Author
Beth Anderson earned a B.A. in Linguistics and a M. Ed. in Reading. She taught English as a second language for more than 20 years. She is the author of An Inconvenient Alphabet, Ben Franklin & Noah Webster's Spelling Revolution, and Calkins Creek's Lizzie Demands A Seat!
Illustrator and toy designer Jenn Harney is the illustrator of Never Trumpet with a Crumpet, Underwear!, and the "Hazy Bloom" series. She is the author/illustrator of Swim Swim Sink to be published in Spring 2020.
"A tribute to the New York City subway’s first official 'leak detective.' Gifted with a literal nose for trouble, James Kelly arrived in New York from Ireland 'with nothing but a suitcase and a keen sense of smell'—and leveraged the latter into a long career over the first half of the 20th century sniffing out dangerous gas, water, steam, and other leaks in the subway system and elsewhere. Anderson casts him in a heroic mold, as he had not only a special ability, but the inner motivation to use it in service to public safety. Depicted with a confident smile and a mop of bright orange hair, Kelly shines as he goes after suggestive twists and curls of miasmic yellowish green in the illustrations’ succession of antique-looking street scenes and cross-sectional views of underground pipes and tunnels. Another immigrant gets the job done." — Kirkus Reviews
"This picture book biography centers on James Kelly, a white Irish immigrant and Transit Authority worker born in 1898, who used his incredible sense of smell to solve problems. Recommended for elementary collections, particularly those that emphasize makerspaces, problem-solving, or STEAM activities." —School Library Journal