Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
A brave shadow finds a more colorful life in this joyous picture book by the acclaimed author of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles and illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers.
Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either . . . until the day he pops free, and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. And as he enjoys his first colorful day--singing, dancing and playing--other shadows watch him, and they become brave too. The frog's shadow takes the shape of a prince, the dragonfly's shadow that of a dragon. Even the rock's shadow gets in on the excitement. But what will become of the timid beings their shadows have left behind? Will they finally be inspired to find their own daring?
About the authors
Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and has been drawing from an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson, which won a Governor General’s Award, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book and has been long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of Grant and Tillie Go Walking by Monica Kulling and The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, both highly acclaimed. Sydney has received a number of other awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. He now lives in Toronto and works in a shared studio space in Chinatown.
- Nominated, Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award
A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids pick
One of CCBC’S Best Books for Kids & Teens (2018)
"Cuevas’ plotline radiates freshness and celebrates the rewards of risk-taking. Smith has a keen understanding of the power of the contrast between blackness and color. . . . Not since Peter Pan’s has a shadow commanded such well-deserved attention." --STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"Smith’s inky shadows and bright watercolor washes are imbued with lively movement, which perfectly capture Smoot’s boundless energy. Inspiring without being at all sappy, Smoot’s rebellion produces rich results." -- STARRED REVIEW, Booklist
"Smith’s shadows are vibrant and striking when juxtaposed with the real-world setting. The lines and colours in the non-shadow world are lithe and angled; the cityscapes are especially impressive and rich with tactile details in all the surfaces of stone, brick, and wood. By contrast, Smith’s shadow pictures appear hasty, spontaneous, and joyful." --STARRED REVIEW, Quill & Quire
"Confident storytelling and humorous details make for a delightful read-aloud. Smith’s loose line and fluid ink and watercolors perfectly capture the ever-so-slightly mischievous and joyful tone of Cuevas’s text. . . . Young readers will be hooked by the beguiling premise and respond to the gently delivered message about living life with intention and imagination." --School Library Journal
"Cuevas’s writing sparkles." --Publisher's Weekly
"Cuevas’s poetic, colorful text is delivered through direct statements, often placed within the negative space of Smith’s masterful ink and watercolor illustrations. Constant visual shifts among full-page spreads, paneled layouts, spot art, varying perspectives, and wordless scenes are seamless, engaging, and full of impact. A modern fairy tale (of sorts)that, although about a shadow, visually shines." --The Horn Book
"Michelle Cuevas brings readers another gentle tale of wonder and whimsy... There is energy and light and motion in each page, particularly the spectacular full-page spreads. A gorgeous new offering from two notable talents." --Atlantic Books Today
"Smith’s shadows are vibrant and striking when juxtaposed with the real-world setting. The lines and colours in the non-shadow world are lithe and angled; the cityscapes are especially impressive and rich with tactile details in all the surfaces of stone, brick, and wood. By contrast, Smith’s shadow pictures appear hasty, spontaneous, and joyful." --Quill & Quire
Other titles by Sydney Smith
Do You Remember?
It's Up to Us
Building a Brighter Future for Nature, People & Planet (The Children's Terra Carta)