cover image Adam's Smile

Adam's Smile

David M. McPhail. Dutton Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44327-8

""The night Adam's bicycle was struck by a car was the longest night of his life. It seemed to go on forever.'' Thus begins the story of Adam, who, as a result of the accident, is living in a ``dream'' world, very similar to the world McPhail created in The Dream Child. When Adam's grandmother comes to say goodnight, she tells him that his smile could light up the world. The night wears on, then Adamwho is tied to the bedfinds himself taken captive by a winged horse and two strange-looking creatures. Their leader tells Adam that only his smile can return light to the world and stave off darkness. Adam does smile and the darkness is banished. The leader then turns the winged horse into a bike exactly like the one Adam rode and frees Adam's legs from their ropes. While McPhail's rich watercolors contribute to the magical atmosphere, this story is weighed down by a tiresome plot and cloying sentiments. Ages 4-6. (October)