Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New York, Phew York New Scratch-n-Sniff Kids' Book!

NYC is many things to many people, and it has the smells to match!  The smelly side of the city was brought to life about a month ago by author, Amber Jones.  A concierge at a Times Square hotel, she has smelled it all--and decided to wax about it in her new kids' book New York, Phew York: A Scratch-n-Sniff Adventure. 


The book features everything from the odor of a foul-smelling subway rider to the aroma of pastrami.

I think it’s an honest depiction of New York. It’s a love letter to New York.

Her illustrator, Tim Probert, completed the artwork, and she and her team of two advisers began the arduous process of trimming the book’s 62 scents down to a more manageable 23.

Jones said having accurate smells in the book was paramount, and each scent — which can be activated by lightly rubbing the paper its printed on — required multiple rounds of sniffing before it was deemed print-worthy.

For each potential smell, the printer would send Jones myriad options. For the smell of coffee, for instance, Jones had to decide between the odors of black coffee, espresso, latte or cappuccino, she recalled.
“It was really exhausting,” she said, laughing. “Smell is kind of like taste. Everyone smells something differently.”  And it was up to her to select which scent was the best and most accurate to what was found in New York.In the end, Jones said her favorite smell in the entire   book is that of exhaust, because she feels it’s one of the most accurate.

Ms. Jones reports that children all seem to love the stench of the smelly man on the subway, which, she  says, is strong enough to make a reader recoil from the glossy pages of the book.


The book is also sold on her website, as well as on Amazon.com, and she said it has completely sold out of two gift shops inside the W Hotel in Times Square.  The book has also sold out of the Rockefeller Center and Grand Central locations of Pylones, a quirky store that stocks everything from wind-up robots to an Eiffel Tower-shaped cheese grater. 
 
The reviews for the book have been positive on social media outlets and on Amazon.com.
One teacher wrote on Amazon that she had read it to her first-grade class, “and they absolutely LOVED it!It was the most requested book for read aloud this year.”

Jones is actively looking for a distributor so she can get "New York, Phew York" into more souvenir shops and major booksellers.  And she's settled on what she hopes will be the second installment in a city-themed scratch-n-sniff series: "Smell-A," for the noses of and for Los Angeles.

18 comments:

  1. What a great idea for a book. I bet the kids (ahem, and us bigger kids) would enjoy it. I love NYC and had occasion to be there earlier this month. It is indeed a veritable hodgepodge of smells, sites and sounds. Also, no worries on trimming the number of scents, that's why there's book 2 and 3.

    Cheers and thanks for the cool review.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Jeremy! I, too, love the city and had the good fortune to live in the area for six years. I can't wait for what's next in the author's olfactory offering!

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  2. Ingenious! Best wishes for their continued success!

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    1. Thanks, Donna. It truly is an amazing idea. I agree. Good luck to them as well!

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  3. How clever! Each big city does have its very own distinct smell. Sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Kai. That's so true and what makes each one fun. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. New York,New York!No city like it.Can't wait to get the book.Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It is an amazing place. I'm getting the book, too!

      Thanks for your comment, Joann.

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  5. I continue to be amazed at how creative people can be! This is just super cute and I wish Amber good luck with future smelly books!!

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    1. I know what you mean, Sharon, and wondered why I didn't think of it! She's going to go far with this one...

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  6. What a creative idea! Kids Always love something new and unusual. Who do you go to to get something quirky like that published? I'm curious.

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    1. It is a quirky idea, and she did it herself along with the illustrator. They raised the money themselves and went ahead with it. As it's such a success, I think now a publishing house will pick it up.

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  7. Hi Nancy and Ms. Jones, I love scratch and sniff books, but this one takes it to a whole new level! Hmmmm, can "smell-o-vision" be far behind? (Yes, I know Disney has it already!)

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    1. Yes, they seem to have it all nailed down. Interesting stuff.

      Thanks!

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  8. Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for searching out the most unusual and appealing books. This one is a real winner.

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  9. Thanks, Barbara, for your comment and compliment! Couldn't resist this one and wish her all the best.

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