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Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink – Book Review


From the Cover of Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat:

“It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and Gilbert has a stack of blank valentine cards to fill with nice poems for his classmates.
But why, Gilbert wonders, should he write a nice poem for Lewis, who tweaked his nose, or for Margaret, who made fun of his glasses? That’s when he decides to get back at Lewis and Margaret, not knowing it will turn the whole class topsy-turvy.
The pen is truly mightier than the sword in Diane deGroat’s hilarious treat of a valentine book, with its subtle message about forgiveness and being a good friend.”



Transfiguring Adoption gave this book 4 out of 5 Hoots based on it’s usefulness to foster and adoptive families. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here.]


What Our Family Thought:

The target audience is elementary school age, 4 – 8 years old and would be appropriate for foster, adoptive or biological families.

While our whole family was able to glean lessons from this book, the story itself appeared to capture the attention of our 9 year old the best. The adults, middle schooler, and teens did chuckle while we read some of the humorous Valentine poems the main character creates.

Through discussion our family came to agree that this book could be a useful tool for talking to your child about being a good friend.

  • The story houses Gilbert as he has to figure out how to handle a situation dealing with school peers that were not nice to him.
  • The book speaks about the unsuccessful plights of revenge.
  • The parents enjoyed that the tale tells of a dilemma in which children have hurt each other’s feelings and the story portrays a healthy way for the kids to handle the situation themselves (as opposed to “tattling”)
  • The parents highly appreciated that the characters of the story portrayed not only that it is important to state an apology but it is also important to follow up the apology with action.

The illustrations were great for the targeted audience and helped to keep the attention of kids. We felt that the images helped to immerse everyone better into the story.

Overall our family would recommend this to any family looking for a fun story especially around Valentine’s Day. As many children from traumatic pasts usually have a difficult time making friends, this tale is a great way for foster/adoptive parents to discuss friendships with their child.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. As a family, finish this poem:
    Candy is dandy,
    Chocolate is sweet.
    I like pizza,
    and think (person) is ____________ .
  2. What did Gilbert do to Lewis & Margaret?
  3. What happened to Gilbert because of his poems? Is this what Gilbert wanted?
  4. What did Lewis & Margaret do besides say, “sorry,” to Gilbert?
  5. Why did Gilbert make new poems for Lewis & Margaret?
  6. The kids didn’t talk to the teacher about their problem in the story. What can you do the next time someone at school makes fun of you? When do you need to tell the teacher?
  7. Let’s pretend that your friend at school just got new shoes but the shoes are way too big for their feet. You laughed at your friend and called them, “Big Foot.” You even got some other kids to laugh at your friend. Your friend starts crying. You know then that you hurt their feelings.
    You tell your friend, “Sorry.”
    Now how can you be like Margaret and Lewis and try to make it up to your friend?


2 thoughts on “Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink – Book Review

  1. Great review!! That is good to know. I have a kiddo who struggles in those areas so this sounds like a great fit! Thank you!

    1. After reading this book, we asked our kids what the characters could have done differently with the conflict. They each kept telling us that the teacher should have been involved. I thought this book was great tale to show kids that THEY can resolve conflict on their own and maintain friendships. I’m glad you liked the review.

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