Smelly Louie by Catherine Rayner, published by Macmillan

Our older daughter, who is nearly three, is a big fan of baths. She enjoys creating bubble beards and has mastered the bubble clap – taking a large clump of foam and clapping her hands together to create a flurry of bubble snow.

Catherine Rayner’s Louie does not like bubbles, and he detests baths. Worst of all is “The Noise” – that awful sound of running water – and most of all, that most hated aroma: “roses and apple blossom!” Why? Because Louie is a dog who has worked hard to finesse his unique stink, and he doesn’t like to give it up!

We meet Louie just after he’s had a bath, mourning the loss of his radiantly rotten aroma. He is determined to regain his scent – seeking out its key ingredients, with a little help from a filthy fox and some whiffy flies. Along the way, he befriends an old boot, delights in dustbins and rolls in sticky sludge. Something is missing, though…Of course! The pongy pond!

We share in his delight as Louie reclaims his special smell and marches proudly home. We feel his pride as the impressed fox looks upon him. And we share his horror on hearing “the noise” and on smelling that terrible, revolting, perfumed smell and the call “Louie, come here”. “Surely, it couldn’t be?”

A beautiful book with a most lovable lead, Smelly Louie is a family favourite, full of fun, humour and brimming with colour and life. An aromatic treat for all the senses.