Jeff Smith is back with a brand-new book from his Bone comic series. However, unlike the previous installments, Smith has created a picture book for younger readers starring the always lighthearted Smiley Bone. Titled Smiley’s Dream Book, the titular character finds himself dreaming about flying and having fun with some new feathered friends.

The book opens with Smiley Bone taking a walk in the woods. He spots a few friendly birds of different colors wearing various accessories like hats and scarfs. Climbing a tree to get closer, he counts the number of birds he finds and begins to float in the air. He joins the birds in their flight through clouds doing tricks, but the fun ends abruptly when a vicious hawk swoops down to catch some birds. Smiley comes to their aid and stares down the predator, scaring him away. In the end, he floats down onto the ground and closes his eyes. With a start he wakes up and exclaims that even though dreams can be scary, the good ones are worth it.

For those who are familiar with Smiley Bone, they may find this mini adventure a perfect fit for the comic character. He is an optimistic, wide-eyed character who is always smiling (hence his name) and willing to help those who need it. These traits are shown throughout this book, providing a light, simple story for readers to enjoy. Even readers who are not familiar with the Bone series will understand Smiley’s character. As for the intended audience, young readers will find enjoyment in seeing Smiley fly with the colorful birds, counting them forwards and backwards with him.

Smith brings a bright color palette for this short tale, with colorful birds and a scenic landscape of meadows and trees. There is a two-page spread of Smiley soaring in the sky with a large group of birds, with joy on his face. Even though the story is short, the action scenes flow from one page to the next. Text is provided in comic speech bubbles, spoken by Smiley, as well as song notes from the flock of birds.

Smiley’s Dream Book is a lighthearted picture book that preschoolers and kindergartners will enjoy. Older Bone fans will like the book, as well, and encourage young readers to give it a try. Since this is based on a comic book series, it is advisable that librarians should consider purchasing this where Jeff Smith and the Bone series are popular.

Smiley’s Dream Book
by Jeff Smith
ISBN: 9780545674775
Scholastic, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: 3-5

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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