Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Perfect Day' Depends on Your Perspective

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Perfect Day' Depends on Your Perspective

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport


Author and illustrator: Lane Smith

Data: Roaring Brook Press, $17.99; ages 4 to 8

"A Perfect Day" by Lane Smith celebrates the little things in life that make it grand. Those little things are different for different people - or animals.

The warmth of the sun felt good on Cat's back.

Cat liked to be in the flower bed where the daffodils grew.

It was a perfect day for Cat.

Dog has a different kind of perfect day.

The cool of the water was what Dog liked best. When it was hot, Dog sat in the wading pool that his friend Bert filled for him.

A birdfeeder full of birdseed makes a perfect day for Chickadee. Corn on the cob dropped into the grass makes a perfect day for Squirrel.

This sweet book sings the praises of simple pleasures that are no further away than the back yard. With its deft text and vibrant illustrations, the story catches the attention of young readers who can appreciate the pleasures of a perfect day. Playing among the daffodils, wading in a pool and watching the birds and squirrels can feel as satisfactory to a youngster as it does to the animals in the story.

The book's charms extend beyond the recognition of daily life's little-things-that-are-really-big-and-great. The moment of charm comes when a bear steps into the backyard idyll. The bear grabs the corn on the cob as the squirrel scurries away from harm. It really is a perfect day for Squirrel if he does not get squashed by a big brown bear, huh? Next, the bear upends the birdfeeder and downs all the seed. Chickadee, experiencing the perfect day, makes a clean get away. And what about Cat and Dog?

The bear lifts the wading pool and splashes the cool water all over himself. The dog is, once again, well of harm's way. Cat makes out OK when the bear decides to rest in the flower bed, skittering away before the bear lies down.

Clean getaways to safety make the bear's visit to the backyard another cause to count one's blessings. …

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