Book Review: Smitten
Sometimes you come across a book where everything seems to be in place at first glance. Nice illustrations, appealing characters, catchy title. It’s the kind of book you would expect kids to be drawn to. Upon reading, however, there’s just something missing. “Smitten” is this kind of book. Underneath the cover, “Smitten” suffers a lack of development that puts the breaks on an otherwise solid effort.
Mitten meets Sock by the park after he falls out of his owner’s laundry basket. After introductions, the two decide to comb the big city in search of their pairs. Their adventure takes them to the laundromat (where Sock shrinks), and down into the subway (where Mitten unravels). They end up in the yarn store, where Sock finds a way to put his friend back together. In a world of matching pairs, Sock and Mitten agree that they match as well as the best of ’em.
David Gordon comes to the table with a resumÃ© that would make most folks not show up for the interview. He has written and illustrated a number of books. He’s one of the illustrators taking part in the huge “Truck Town” series by Jon Scieszka. In addition to his print portfolio, Mr. Gordon has worked on a who’s who of American children’s DVD collections. Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Spongebob, the list continues. The digital illustrations for “Smitten” are bright and smooth with a soft quality. If it were possible to paint with modeling clay, this would be the result. He’s good.
“Smitten” is a book that kids will be anxious to read, which is a good thing. However, the tension in this adventure tale is never quite there. The characters go from one even to the next without making the reader invest in what’s happening. That is the downfall in this otherwise pleasant picture book.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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