Smick!

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Smick! Book Poster Image
Very simple rhyming book about a dog, a stick, and a chick.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Simple lessons about dogs, how they move, how they play. Experience with wordplay and rhyme.

Positive Messages

Different species can be friends, despite their different sizes. Large creatures should be careful of small ones.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both dog and chick are game for friendship and are playful.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smick!, by popular writer Doreen Cronin (Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Worm), with art by debut illustrator Juana Medina, has very little text and reads more like a beginning reader than a picture book. A dog named Smick chases a stick and becomes friends with a chick. The text often is only a few words ("No, Smick, no!"), and there's rhyme and wordplay. The art is a simple, playful mix of thick black lines and collage, and it effectively portrays the bounding, exuberant dog. Best for very young or kids just starting to read independently. 

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What's the story?

In SMICK!, a dog named Smick chases a stick and meets a chick, and the two become friends and play together.

Is it any good?

The language is simple, though it becomes more adventurously playful at the end. The art also is simple, with the dog depicted by a thick black line against the white page and the chick by a colorful lily petal mimicking feathers. The art and dog are both exuberant, and young kids will like this big, bounding pup who crooks an ear, crouches to play, and wags his tail.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about big vs. little. What's cute about a big dog and a tiny chick playing together? 

  • What other words rhymes with "Smick"? If you add new rhymes, what could happen in the story?

  • How does the art use both black lines and actual objects? What real objects can you find in the pictures?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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