Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Whozzat? Smick by Doreen Cronin



Smick's off-page owner points out a stick (surprisingly, a digitally offered image of a real stick) and big, droopy-eared Smick is up for a game of throw-and-fetch--until a small Cluck is heard.

What? It's ... a CHICK?

What should Smick do with that? Fetch it like the stick? His human nixes that move quick!

There is a better way to play with a chick, and Smick and Chick soon figure that out, as Chick rides along on Smick's head as he fetches the stick. Chick is more fun than a stick. Chick is a sidechick! No, wait! He's a...


And Smick's little sidekick chick sticks it out and earns a lick from Smick's long tongue in the latest preschool pleaser from Doreen Cronin (of Click Clack Moo fame).

Veteran wordsmith Cronin's Smick (Viking Press, 2015) shows again why she's a best-selling writer who knows how to use simple text to charm readers and to inspire illustrators to remarkable heights. Juana Medina's Smick is big, goofy white dog, outlined in thick, amorphous blackline, ready for anything, and his new friend is a bright-hued collaged leaf-shape with minimalist features and skinny bird legs, whose expressions extend Cronin's equally spare text. Dogs just wanna have fun, and with this playful pair, the author's slick rhyming vocabulary will have preschoolers "reading" their way through this delightful romp in the park. "This clever and appealing glimpse into the start of some delightful friendships is one doggone good time," says School Library Journal's starred review.

For more odd-couple pairings, share this one with Jennifer Sattler's Chick 'n' Pug or sequels. (See reviews here.)

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