ADAM'S SMILE by David McPhail


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Inspired by the experience of a friend's child, who was in a long coma after an injury, a favorite author-illustrator who has explored this world before (The Dream Child, 1985) describes an imaginary dream-voyage. After Adam's bicycle is struck by a car, he lives through a very long night. His grandmother had said that his ""smile could light the world""; but when Adam tries to rise, his feet are tied to the bed. So the gentle beings (lion, wee man in rabbit-eared pajamas, winged horse) who have come through the window take him aloft, bed and all, over the darkened land and into a mountain--where strange creatures lurk and an old man dressed as a biblical shepherd asks Adam to restore light to the world with his smile. Though it is difficult, he does, and is able to ride home on his bicycle, now winged. Except for a few devils lurking in the background within the mountain, McPhail's illustrations are soft and comforting, appropriate for this story about the unknown terrors of the night that can be read metaphorically as well as literally. An interesting, if problematical, addition to the growing literature on the dream world for young children; it may be rather obscure to young children with no experience of abnormal sleep.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton