School Library Journal gives a lovely review for Smiley’s Dream Book!
PreS-Gr 1–This crisply illustrated picture book stars a character from Smith’s award-winning series of graphic novels. Strolling through the woods on a beautiful day, Smiley, a blobby white cartoon character, decides to count the birds he hears singing (each bird tweets a musical note colored to match its feathers). By the time he gets to numbers seven and eight, Smiley is flapping his arms and flying along with the flock. After reaching 12, he gives up on enumerating and focuses on soaring through the blue sky surrounded by feathered friends. The mood changes when a raptor arrives and harries the frightened birds with sharp-looking talons and beak. Smiley confronts the predator, scaring the poop out of it (literally). Surrounded by the thankful birds, he counts down from 10, before gently descending to the ground and settling under a tree, sound asleep. Awakening, he realizes that it was all a dream, acknowledging, “Sometimes dreams are scary, but the good ones make it worth it.” Full-page illustrations, some wordless and some sprinkled with dialogue balloons, convey the plot in a simple graphic novel–style format, and the bright cartoon artwork has an engaging fluidity and energy. VERDICT Youngsters already acquainted with Smiley and the “Bone” universe will get the most of this adventure, but the book’s positive message and exuberant presentation has broad appeal.–Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs