Review for Smile and Say Hi
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
I am shy myself so when I saw this book on Netgalley I knew I had to give it a shot. Also, dragons. I just cannot resist a book with dragons!
In this book we meet Mike, a boy who loves dragons, knights, and adventure.. but making friends.. not so much. Mike is supershy and I recognised a lot of me in him. I was curious how this book would go, which direction.
There is a ton of imagination in this book with dragons who help out this shy boy by doing a fun competition that brings him over his hometown including his school. I really loved seeing the dragons help out, though I also feel like, given how scared he constantly was, how he kept hiding, that it was a bit fast how he just went up to someone in the end. I am mostly speaking from my own experience here, but I don’t think my imagination would have turned me 180 degrees to go for it. It may have helped a bit, but not instantly POOF I can do it. It would have taken many travels with my imagination and many more dragon adventures before I could go to someone.
I do agree with some other reviewers as to how the parents acted. That definitely wouldn’t have helped me either and just would have made things worse as I would feel like I am overreacting. Mom is like: “Smile and say hi” and dad is like: “I know you’re shy. But tomorrow in school, Mike, please give this a try. Just smile and say ‘hi’. There’s no reason to run. You’ll make many friends. You’ll have lots of fun.” Really, dad and mom, if it was that easy I wouldn’t have problem. I would have definitely gone another route if I had a child who was afraid/shy.
The art was definitely a lot of fun, the style was just so great and I love how the dragons were drawn (oh and I love that little dragon that Mike plays with in one of the illustrations and that turned out to be the big dragon in his imagination).
The book is also in rhyme and I loved that. It made the book a bit more playful, it is still about a serious subject, but made it, for me at least, a bit less OMG serious. I hope that makes sense. Haha, in my head it does. Maybe in Dutch it would work better. XD
All in all, despite some issues I had (the sudden turn, the parents) I still had fun reading this one and I would give it 3 stars.