‘Smick’ by Doreen Cronin, ‘Fleabrain Loves Franny’ by Joanne Rocklin …

Readers old enough to remember the Dick, Sally, and Jane books of yore will appreciate the wild counterpoint of the new picture book “Smick!’’ to those tame, plodding classics. The text bears some resemblance in its uber-simplicity. Smick is a tail-wagging dog, and a stick is introduced. “Smick. Sit, Smick. Good, Smick.”

But while the intention of “Oh, Jane. Look, look, look” seemed to be to bore the young preschooler into submissively reading, “Smick’’ uses arch-simplicity to encourage joy and playfulness. Author Doreen Cronin holds back, and lets the pictures shine. Juana Medina’s illustrations are, as intended, the stars of the show.

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Smick is a cartoony dog, while the stick he finds is photo-realistic.

Article source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2015/01/31/for-children-capsule-reviews-three-recent-titles/6y275PhMtQsi102Kuc737I/story.html

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