Lots of illustrators have a distinguishing style which makes their books immediately recognisable. Not so Lane Smith: apart from some earlier publications which were in the mode of The Stinky Cheeseman with which he came to prominence, his books always present the reader with something different. Though it should be said that one distinctive feature is a close attention to design and to the way the book ‘works’ to provide a very satisfying reading experience.
Here he describes in image and minimum text a day that is perfect for Cat, Dog, Bird, Squirrel. Perfect, that is until Bear comes along and disrupts everything that was making the day so good. He ate Bird’s seeds and Squirrel’s corn, poured the water cooling Dog over himself, and lay in Cat’s sunny spot for his nap. Still, it was a perfect day for Bear!
Smith’s oil paint over gesso images, enhanced with pen-and-ink, coloured pencils and discreet use of digital collage make for a perfect read that can be enjoyed by the youngest children and their older colleagues.