Days Like This by Oriane Smith, illustrated by Alice Gravier

Days Like This by Oriane Smith, illustrated by Alice Gravier. Milky Way Picture Books, 2022. 9781990252099

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

Genre:  Realistic

What did you like about the book? This handsome book immerses readers into the natural world, urging them to notice the details. The gorgeous ink and digitally worked art is realistic, but at the same time makes each view seem magical. A poetic text, rendered in entirety at the beginning, and then, spread throughout the pages, asks you to see the sun rise, discover hidden treasure in a pile of leaves, and even to really examine the “moments soaked with tears.” Each spread repeats a line of text on each side, with differing views of the same natural place. Sometimes the perspective changes, sometimes the difference is between close and far. But each view has mesmerizing fine lined details.

Animal lovers will enjoy looking upwards at a tree from a small creature’s point of view at the very base, or guessing whose small footprints have crept through the chocolate spread on a piece of bread near an open window. This book will engage young readers in visual details, but also in creatures’ different experiences of the world.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I wasn’t crazy about the repetition of the same line on both sides of each spread. I also didn’t notice a note at the end until after several readings – it explains that the book is from a squirrel’s perspective. I would have liked that note at the beginning.

To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 3-7, especially fans of books depicting the natural world in great detail, such as books by Gerda Muller.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 24, 2022

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