Today’s review is of Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s newest title The Smeds and The Smoos, published by Alison Green Books.
The gist: What happens when a Smed and a Smoo, who should be sworn enemies, fall in love?
Review: This picture book is full of Donaldson’s trademark rhymes – this time with a very big nod towards classic nonsense poets such as Lewis Carroll (‘The Jabberwocky’) and Edward Lear (‘The Owl and the Pussycat’). The children loved the story even if the level of nonsense at times proved a little tricky (repeat readings would resolve this) and I am sure it will become a classic very soon.
Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are, as always, an absolute delight, full of colour and character and perfectly matching Donaldson’s words.
Interestingly, the dedication to the book is at the very end, rather than the beginning and I think this very deliberate choice is to reinforce the message of the book. The story is dedicated ‘To all the children of Europe’ which is especially poignant in today’s political environment – we need to celebrate both what makes us alike and different and not to feel threatened by it.
I know this will immediately be a favourite in our library – the children listened, spellbound, as I read it. Perhaps a copy should be sent to all the governments in the world as an example of how people can cooperate for the greater good!