Monday, August 16, 2021

Review: Smile and Say Hi by Mary Jo Hazard

It's Monday again! Today, I'm shaking things up. I was planning on posting my review of Once Upon A Camel ...I'm SO looking forward to this one, too. And that's the problem. I ended up getting swamped this weekend with birthday parties and corn harvest (which includes lots of blanching and freezing) and didn't get a chance to read it! (Bad. I know)  But as long as you're willing to wait until the 22nd now, I'm doing a switch-a-roo with a book I have already had a chance to look at. So, it's dragons today and camels are still stuck in a dust storm of work.

Ready to fly into imagination with some winged creatures?

by Mary Jo Hazard
Illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
Mascot Books
38 pages
ages 4 to 8

Michael Joe Bob is remarkably shy.
When he meets someone new, he won’t smile and say hi.
Mike runs and he hides, petrified through and through,
unable to do what he knows he must do.

Then, one night in Mike’s room, some fierce dragons fly
and whisk him away through the starry night sky
to adventures so daring. Mike searches inside
and seizes the courage to smile and say hi!



Dragons as best friends? This book goes even beyond that and shows how a boy gets ready to meet new kids. Now, Mike is shy. Super shy. The idea of meeting anyone seems impossible to him because he has no idea how to really handle it. But he can handle dragons.

These pages are filled with wonderful, friendly, exciting dragons. These are well illustrated...for the intended age group...and let dragon lovers gain more than their fill of winged beasts. These are not scary dragons, but rather Mike's best friends (although some of them may look a little scary). This book swings from reality into fantasy and makes the border fog. Imagination takes flight and makes it impossible to guess whether or not Mike truly has dragon friends or if they are in his dreams. (I'm rooting for the first alternative). But this is about more than dragons.

Mike is shy, and these dragons are exactly what he needs to help him overcome those first moments of meeting someone new. The message is loud and clear, and yet, doesn't feel overly preachy thanks to the smooth glide from imagination to reality. 

This one does make a great read aloud or will work for those learning to read and who already have a first grasp on many words.

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

This sounds perfect for post-pandemic kids. My little grandgirl is so nervous around strangers, because she hasn't been exposed to the general public. Will look for it. Thanks!