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Jingle Bells, Homework Smells

Press: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (October 3, 2000)
Publication Date:2000-10


It's almost Christmas, and Gilbert finds it hard to pay attention in school. 
When Mrs.
Byrd gives the class homework for the weekend, Gilbert just can't seem to find the time to do it.
After all, this is a busy season.
He has to help his mother and sister bake Christmas cookies.
He also has to make time to go ice skating with his friends.
And the tree has to be decorated too! The joyous holiday feeling around Gilbert's house comes alive in warm, colorful, and humorous scenes.
And every child who's ever put off a chore will sympathize with him when Monday morning rolls around...

From Booklist

Ages 5-7. 
When his teacher assigns homework on Friday, Gilbert the possum isn't too concerned.
After all, he has all weekend to draw a picture of a book character.
Unfortunately, he puts the assignment off on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday, forgetting about it until Monday morning.
His last-ditch solution, to make a snowman outside the classroom window, gets the lukewarm reception it deserves, though his teacher kindly extends his deadline by a day.
Children old enough to have homework will see themselves in Gilbert as he procrastinates over the weekend, then dreads going to school.
The Christmas season makes a warm, colorful backdrop, which is reflected in the watercolor artwork more than in the story itself.
Another entertaining entry in the series that includes Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink (1996) and Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo (1999).
Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“DeGroat’s cute characters are colorfully appealing to young children.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Diane deGroat is the illustrator of many children's books and the author-illustrator of the award-winning Gilbert books, including the New York Times bestseller Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. 
Diane lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Children's Books,Holidays & Celebrations,Christmas,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Friendship, Social Skills & School Life,School,Family Life

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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     I'd bet most kids have put off doing their homework. Diane explains in a wonderful way all the reasons why something doesn't get done. And for Gilbert, they're all really good reasons! But there are consequences for procrastinating and Diane explains that wonderfully, too!

  •     love this little character; another great story; well pleased

  •     A great book to read write before winter vacation. All the kids can empathize with Gilbert not wanting to do his homework, especially because he is so excited for the holidays. They loved his creative way of making up his missed assignment!

  •     Kids loved it!

  •     my kids loves it

  •     Children were engaged through the whole book. They loved the rhyme and I heard them singing it many times

  •     I bought this book for my grand daughter to use in her classroom. The story is cute andshe will use this book for many years in her classroom.

  •     Let me tell you a feel-good story. It involves love - the love of a mother for her daughter, and a child's passionate, exhilarated, uncomplicated love for books. This is the true story of Deb Raymer, and her daughter Sabrina, and how I came to know them. This holiday season, I am grateful that Deb has shared parts of her story, and that through her mom, Sabrina has shared a wonderful cast of characters previously unknown to me.A couple of months ago, Deb asked me to help her find a series of books. All Sabrina wants for Christmas is "Gilbert". Deb needed to order multiple copies of each book in the collection, she explained. Sabrina loves the "Gilbert" books so much, that she reads them to pieces. Literally. While I am always thrilled to see someone who loves books that much, that's not even the best part of the story. Sabrina is mentally and physically handicapped. She has a job at Partners in Progress that she enjoys. Whenever she rides to work on the bus, she has a "Gilbert" book - or two, or three - in her bag, and she "reads" them to the other passengers. Sabrina has memorized her favorite books. Her mother needs to keep buying new copies of them because Sabrina pages through them so much and so often that they fall apart.Gilbert, the hedgehog, and his sister Lola, are creations from the paintbrush and pen of Diane de Groat. This author/illustrator started working in children's literature by doing the artwork for some well-known children's authors, such as Lois Lowry and Eve Bunting. De Groat started on her Gilbert series in 1996 with "Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink", which is still Sabrina's favorite.I hadn't heard of de Groat, and Deb gave my literary ego a boost by reassuring me that I'm not alone. Often, when Deb and Sabrina have searched for Gilbert in libraries and bookstores, he is nowhere to be found. So, it's time to spread the word. Diane de Groat has created a fun, inexpensive series with sympathetic characters, situations that kids can relate to, and a little lesson that doesn't come across like a 2"x 4" to the forehead. The titles themselves produce a smile for kids and adults alike. Now there's a Gilbert for every season in a child's life. A reader can start school with Gilbert in "Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books" and end the school year with the companion volume, "No More Pencils, No More Books! No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!" In these final months of the year, we have been enjoying "We Gather Together, Now Please Get Lost" for Thanksgiving, and "Jingle Bells, Homework Smells" for Christmas.The Gilbert books have been so successful that now his sister Lola has her own series, books for slightly younger children, that often include Gilbert, but from Lola's point-of-view. When Lola can't decide what to be for Halloween, she finally decides to be "a Gilbert", because she knows he's an original. I think Sabrina and Lola are on to something good.Author,"Hobo Finds A Home"

  •     My husband read this book to our grandson's first grade class before Christmas. All the children enjoyed. It was a fun book with a good story and very appropriate for first graders.

  •     I understand that this book was supposed to be a nice lesson in understanding responsibility and taking care of business before playing. I get it; I have two kids and they know they need do their homework before they go outside, watch TV, whatever. I, however, found this book to be a perfect illustration of an asinine homework assignment ruining family time. The week before Christmas, a teacher gives a WEEKEND homework assignment of drawing a character from a book. Exactly what was she teaching? Or, what was she teaching that was so important that it was supposed to trump Gilbert making cookies with his mom and sister after school; ice skating with his friends; or picking out and decorating a Christmas tree with his family? It wasn't like he was shirking his responsibilities to play Call of Duty all weekend. He was a kid, being a kid, and enjoying a winter weekend with his family and friends. I'm sorry Gilbert felt so bad. If he was my kid, I would have hugged him.

  •     Book ReviewBy London StollI read "Jingle Bells, Homework Smells" by Diane de Groat.This whole book was about a kid named Gilbert and how he does not like doing his homework. He would rather go outside and play or help his mom decorate cookies. He gets homework over the weekend and he gets so distracted by doing fun things that he forgets to do his homework. Monday morning when he gets up for school he remembers that he didn't do his homework and wants to stay home. His mom makes him go to school. Gilbert and his friend make a snowman outside the classroom window for their homework project and are disappointed when the teacher makes them do the project over. Gilbert learns an important lesson.I liked the book because Gilbert is a lot like me. I would rather do fun things then do my homework.Gilbert says, "I can do it later" and that is what I always say too.I give these book 5 stars, because all the details and descriptions this is a quote from the book throwing snow balls at widows. I recommend this book to my family.

  •     Well that will teach you won't it? It's always hard to help your children to see the future and sometimes that's only a couple of hours away. The story was a very good teaching tool. We loved it and keep reading it over and over and of course we laugh and laugh.

  •     Amazon was fantastic getting this book. After being told it was not available thru Scholastic books A friend suggested Amazon. Not only did they have the book but it was delivered quickly so my granddaughter was able share the book with the family, which was very important for a 6 year old. The book was perfect for her and funny also. Thanks Amazon!!

  •     Great!

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