Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 K-Gr 2—A bored shadow cuts loose and explores the wider world. Tired of being bound to a young boy and having to "[brush] the same teeth, [frown] the same frown, and [draw] the same pictures—always staying perfectly inside the line," Smoot the shadow dreams of singing "canary-yellow songs" and dancing "in wildflower red." When he's suddenly popped free of his boy, he skips rope in the playground with a pair of kids, rides a merry-go-round, and climbs a tall tree—all captured in a six-page wordless sequence. The other shadows see all the fun Smoot's having and decide to join the rebellion. A frog's shadow takes the shape of a haughty prince, a dragonfly's shadow transforms into a fearsome fire-breathing dragon, and the seemingly humble shadow of a rock morphs into a towering castle. The shadows are having more fun than their owners! Just when it seems as if the entire world's population of shadows will leave their natural places, Smoot helps bring them back where they belong and, in the process, helps the shadow's owners—and his own boy—live life more fully. Confident storytelling and humorous details ("He packed a few things—some shade, some moonlight, a change of underpants—and hit the road.") make for a delightful read-aloud. Smith's loose line and fluid ink and watercolors perfectly capture the ever-so-slightly mischievous and joyful tone of Cuevas's text. Thick black crayon defines Smoot and his fellow shadowkind. VERDICT Young readers will be hooked by the beguiling premise and respond to the gently delivered message about living life with intention and imagination.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2017 *Starred Review* Imagine living a life so predictable that your own shadow rebels against you. Smoot the shadow does not know the name of the boy he is forced to follow; Smoot only knows that every day is exactly the same, with the boy never, ever doing anything lively. When Smoot is unexpectedly unstuck, he cannot wait to try new things. He takes off for the park, skipping rope, riding a merry-go-round, and climbing trees. In each exuberant ink-and-watercolor illustration, the boy, identifiable by his red cap and gray jacket, can be seen hesitantly following along the edges. Soon other shadows notice Smoot and become emboldened to follow their own dreams, and shadows of a flower, cricket, grasshopper, frog, dragonfly, and rock leave their anchors behind. Worried about the consequences of shadows on the loose, Smoot helps each pair find ways to incorporate their big wishes into their daily lives with their nonshadow companions. Finally only Smoot’s boy needs to reunite with his shadow, and he’s eager to shake up his daily life, too. Just like Smoot and the boy, the text and illustrations of this book fit together seamlessly, each making the other better. Smith’s inky shadows and bright watercolor washes are imbued with lively movement, which perfectly capture Smoot’s boundless energy. Inspiring without being at all sappy, Smoot’s rebellion produces rich results. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.