Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A perfect day by Lane Smith

I admit that I'm not part of the Lane Smith fan club. I find his books generally too complex for children - I generally think they're aimed more at adults - and I don't care for his angular, minimal art style. But I keep picking them up because he does elicit interesting responses from people and I keep looking at them to see if something springs up that catches my interest.

In this book, something sprung. It's a perfect day for Cat, who is enjoying the flower bed. It's a perfect day for Dog, enjoying the pool. It's a perfect day for Chickadee on the bird feeder and for Squirrel, who has her own cob of corn.

Then Bear shows up and the day isn't so perfect anymore - except for Bear!

Smith's artwork, which I've often found bland in the past, mixes pastel colors and thick brushstrokes to create an adorably fluffy cat, a colorful flower bed, and all the other creatures who populate the story. The mixture of collage and paint capture the eye and expand the simple text into a simply delightful clash of colors and textures for readers to enjoy.

This deceptively simple story will catch readers on a number of levels. The repeated phrases, building up to a climax and then rolling back down to the humorous conclusion, make this a great story for toddler or preschool storytime. Older readers will enjoy the subtle change in perspective and the humor of the unexpected conclusion.

Verdict: This will make a great addition to storytime and your library picture book collection. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781626725362; Published 2017 by Roaring Brook Press; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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