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Follow Mo's Nose

TFK Chats with Margaret Hyde, author of Mo Smells Green and Mo Smells Blue

April 22, 2010

This Earth Day, explore the sweet scents of nature with Mo the sniffing dog. Mo Smells Green is the second book in the Mo's Nose series, by Margaret Hyde. Hyde based the curious canine on a real-life rescue dog. In Mo Smells Green, Mo goes on a nature hike. Following his nose, Mo sniffs out grassy meadows, fields of fresh mint and ripe limes that have fallen from a tree. Special scent pouches in the book let you smell what Mo smells.

Mo's Nose author Margaret Hyde (left) with the real-life Mo and illustrator Amanda Giacomini (right).
COURTESY MARGARET HYDE
Mo's Nose author Margaret Hyde (left) with the real-life Mo and illustrator Amanda Giacomini (right).

The entire series is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. All Mo's Nose products are made with organic, or natural, materials. TFK asked author Margaret Hyde about her inspiration for the earth-friendly books and about the newest tale in the collection, Mo Smells Blue.

TFK:

Where did you get the idea for Mo's Nose?

MARGARET HYDE:

The idea for Mo's Nose came to me in the middle of the night. Dogs are colorblind, but they learn about the world through their noses. I thought that by focusing on our own sense of smell, I could create a fun way for kids to learn. By hearing the words, seeing a color, touching a picture and smelling these wonderful smells they could experience a color differently.

TFK:

Why did you decide to have Mo smell green things for the second book?

HYDE:

I wanted to inspire kids by creating awareness of the earth and the beauty of nature that we experience daily, but so often take for granted. At the time I was writing Mo Smells Green, I was in the process of building a green home. I thought that if by reading a simple book in which Mo discovers nature through his senses, it might allow kids to experience and think differently about the specialness of the world around them. Ultimately, that appreciation will lead them to care more about preserving all that is beautiful in the world.

TFK:

How do you choose the smells for each book, especially abstract scents such as "Life" in Green, and "Love" in Red?

HYDE:

I choose scents that I like and [that have] meaning for me, while also asking the reader to decide as they read, what is that scent? What does the "love" scent make me think of? What does the "life" scent remind me of? By keeping it abstract, the reader is engaged on many levels.

TFK:

What is the main message you hope to send to kids who read Mo Smells Green about our Earth?

In Mo Smells Blue, out in June, Mo and his friends embark on a summertime adventure by the sea.
 
In Mo Smells Blue, out in June, Mo and his friends embark on a summertime adventure by the sea.

HYDE:

Follow your nose and your heart. Love and care for the earth so that it is a cleaner and greener place. I also wish to inspire mindful living that [enables] us to think about the choices we make and how those choices affect our life here on earth.

TFK:

What are some tips for kids and parents who want to be green in their daily lives?

HYDE:

Small changes really do add up in the long run. The more people become aware of their actions and make these changes, the better. There are so many little things that are easy to do. For instance, by choosing to drink out of a glass of instead of a paper cup, or by using glass instead of plastic bottles, you can change the future. By showing kids how to turn off running water when brushing their teeth or how to re-use a piece of paper on the backside, we create mindfulness. That makes the ultimate difference.

TFK:

What are you and your kids' favorite smells?

HYDE:

Chocolate is our favorite.

TFK:

Does the real-life Mo enjoy smelling the scents in his books?

HYDE:

The real-life Mo does enjoy smelling the books. He loves the green grass scent in Mo Smells Green.

TFK:

Mo Smells Blue comes out in June. What can kids expect from Mo's new adventure by the sea?

HYDE:

It allows them to experience the ocean, even if they've never been. Mo and his puppy pal Lucky get to experience all the things that kids love about going to the beach. While digging, exploring—and even surfing!—Mo and Lucky sniff out all the amazing Blue that surrounds them. It's really great summer reading!


Learn more about Mo at mosnose.com.

 

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