Smelly Ellie

Published in June 2019 , Smelly Ellie is for the younger members of the family. It tells the tale of a lively little pup who finds herself abandoned in an animal shelter. When a family adopts her, she gets into the usual puppy scrapes in and around the house. One day she overhears Dad talking on the phone. Is her new family going to return her to the shelter?

Smelly Ellie was inspired partly by our very own Ellie, who we adopted from a shelter in France when she was 6 months old, and partly by our experiences of volunteering at our local shelter. I’m hoping that children will both enjoy the story and perhaps learn that bringing a dog into the family isn’t always straightforward and that it also brings responsibilities. In addition, I hope that Smelly Ellie will encourage people to adopt one of the countless wonderful dogs left at shelters every year. They are just normal dogs who have fallen on bad times and who will thrive in a new home that can give them the love and care that they deserve. The rewards are a millionfold.


Sample pages 


Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

The little pup was not having a good adventure. She was in the Animal Shelter and all her puppy brothers and sisters had disappeared. Instead of being in a cozy house, the little pup was in a concrete run. A lot of noise made her dash to the front to see what was happening with lots of different types of dogs barking their heads off. At night she missed her puppy brothers and sisters. The next day when she woke up, it was an Open Day when lots of people came to adopt dogs. Though the little pup did not get picked up at that time, she finally got adopted by a family with a big house and a big garden surrounded by fields. She was named Ellie and she loved her family to bits. Ellie was always getting into some kind of mess every day and they decided to take her back to the Animal Shelter. Ellie was horrified and she wondered why she was being taken back to the Animal Shelter. Would they leave her there or would they take her back home?

Smelly Ellie by Susan Russell is an adorable story that will be enjoyed by children, especially those who love dogs and have dogs at home. The illustrations are wonderful and they give a good pace and movement to the story. I like the way the author has portrayed Ellie, her behavior, and feelings, thereby giving her a personality of her own. The story will also make dog owners realize their responsibilities towards their pets. It is a cute story that can be used for read-aloud and storytelling sessions in classrooms and school libraries. Many children have mischievous dogs like Ellie at home and this book will tell them what to do if they have a pup like Ellie at home.

From Amazon

'...I bought this for my 5 year old and we read it together over the course of two bed-times. He was truly drawn in by the illustrations and he loved the main character Ellie, a young pup who has ended up at a rescue centre. He thought this was very sad and was keen to keep reading to see if she got a happy ending. I thought the little 'twist' at the end was perfect for children and adults and we are looking forward to more books like this from the author.'

'What a great concept for a children's book! Children are always pestering for a pet, and deciding to rehome a dog (or cat, etc.), rather than getting one from an often dubious breeder is a great idea. This book explains, gently, that dog kennels aren't the best place for a puppy to find itself; that the dogs in them didn't necessarily 'do' anything to get put in 'prison'; that there's probably the ideal dog for any household if you just go and look; that keeping any pet is a commitment of time, energy and money that needs thinking about carefully before you decide to adopt one. The illustrations are beautiful and the typographic details make it fun to read (although I'll try again with my 6 year-old grandaughter when she's reading more confidently, as she didn't quite 'get it' - "why do the words go funny, Nanny?") Definitely buy this book before you buy a dog.'

'This is a lovely story with authentic characters and illustrations. Its a perfect book to share (including with the dog in my case!).'

'...with an astutely-chosen puppy as subject matter, satisfaction is guaranteed! But it isn't just that; this really is a sweet, funny and entertaining little story with just the right amount of sentiment. There's the classic storytelling device of a jeopardy episode towards the end but never fear; the clever final twist (which I didn't see coming) and resolution are very satisfying. Congratulations to the author too for the great care she clearly put into creating this delightful book with her charming illustrations and amusing typo-graphics - it's well worth buying the physical version so that children can better enjoy them. I thoroughly recommend Smelly Ellie (I once had a little Ellie-pup too!). Definitely deserving of five stars.'