Smiley's Dream Book by Jeff Smith

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Smiley's Dream Book by Jeff Smith

Smiley is an adorable character who takes a walk through the woods on a beautiful day.  The sun is shining and the birds are joyfully singing.  Smiley decides to count the singing birds he sees in the trees and flying around.  When he gets to twelve birds, he realizes there are more birds than he can count.  Smiley decides to just fly around with the birds and enjoy the day and their song.  Smiley and the birds are very happy until a large, mean bird appears scaring all the birds.  The mean bird chases and snaps at the smaller birds until Smiley confronts the large bird.  The large bird abruptly stops in its flight.  Smiley scares it away.  All the small birds hug Smiley, and they continue to fly around and sing happily.  Smiley then counts the birds backward from ten to one as he descends back to the ground.  And so the story goes, Smiley wakes up.  It was all just a dream!  

This story is full of vivid, brilliant color and lovable characters.  Some of the birds wear various hats and scarves.  The friendly illustrations draw the reader in to fly along with the characters.  I believe there is a message here about standing up to bullies.  Although this book is perfect for the youngest readers learning their colors and how to count, it could also be incorporated into a Character Development curriculum.  It takes strong character and good judgment to do the right thing.

I read this book to four young children between the ages of 1½ to 3.  They all loved the book.  The 3-year-olds enjoyed the colorful birds in their outfits, Smiley’s expressions, and that the mean bird was chased away.  Counting up was easy but counting backward was difficult for the 3-year-olds.  The 1½-year-olds loved holding the book and looking at the vibrant pictures.  The 3-year-olds wished they could fly with the birds like Smiley did, and they loved the page where Smiley gets hugged by all the birds! 

4.5 / 5.0