My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I read this for the first time two years ago, here’s what I had to say:
“I was already a big fan of Rex’s picture book, Pssst! so I wasn’t surprised to find myself enjoying Smekday in much the same way – pragmatic main character, goofy side characters, delightful illustrations, quirky sense of humor, and an unexpected take on things. This one is great fun with plenty of humor, and a plot that doesn’t drag – but surprisingly thoughtful given the context. Definitely recommended – our protagonist is a girl, but I that shouldn’t put off boys. Slightly older kids might get more of the humor, but I think it would be enjoyable for anyone capable of reading (or listening to) it.”
Then I talked my kids’ bookgroup into reading it (with the help of one member who was already a fan), and since I’d just bought a copy of the audiobook, I gave that format a try for my reread. It was worth it just to hear Bahni Turpin’s rendition of J. Lo’s voice – she really does manage to sound like sheep and bubble wrap at the same time. Plus, she manages to capture Tip’s tone very nicely, and that made the whole experience just as hilarious and fun as reading the book. The only drawback to the audio version is that you miss J. Lo’s comics and Tip’s Polaroids (as illustrated by Rex). The text of the comics are read aloud, but if you’re listening to it and aren’t already familiar with the book, I highly recommend getting your hands on a paper copy and taking a peak.
The bookgroup kids thoroughly enjoyed it – I always have them rate books on a scale of 1-10, and most of them ended up giving it 10+ (they like to get creative with the points).
Also, I have this book to thank for the introduction of the phrases “whatnow” and “wherefore are you knowing it?” into my everyday conversation.