Smiley’s Dream Book

Jeff Smith. Graphix, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-67477-5
Smiley, one of the three cousins from Smith’s comic saga Bone rescues a colorful flock of birds in this vividly drawn tale. Enjoying a stroll through the woods, Smiley hears songbirds singing and begins to count them. One purple bird sports a handsome top hat, the second is orange, the next three are yellow. He stops counting after a dozen and finds himself rising up in the air, able to soar joyously with the whole flock. When a hawk threatens, talons out, Smiley pulls up in front of it, sending it scuttling and winning the affection of the songbird crew. As so often happens, it’s all a dream. “Sometimes dreams are scary,” Smiley says, “but the good ones make it worth it!” It’s a simple story, but it has memorable elements: Smiley’s ability to fly, to become close to wild animals, to be the hero. Smith’s line is masterfully controlled, and each of Smiley’s emotions—interest, dismay, elation—will be clear even to the youngest viewers. The generous trim size further shows off the spreads, which have the appeal of classic Sunday funnies. Ages 3–5. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 07/31/2018
Genre: Children's
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