A Feast of Colours

Oriane Smith’s Days Like This

By Meaghan Thurston

A review of Days Like This by Oriane Smith

Published on July 4, 2022

Days Like This
Oriane Smith

Milky Way Picture Books
$23.99
cloth
40pp
9781990252099

For kids who enjoy an early-morning read, Days Like This – a meditative picture book in verse by Oriane Smith – would be a good choice. “It’s not every day that you get to see the sun rise,” Smith writes. Accompanied by Alice Gravier’s bountiful illustrations, the poem unfurls line by line. Two-page spreads present scenes as observed from slightly different perspectives: the child’s-eye view on the left, and on the right, what is seen by (you will suspect) a non-humanoid critter. The subtle differences compel you to pause and admire the feast of primary colours on the forest floor, the thrill of fireflies at night, and the heartbreak of a bird’s egg fallen from the nest. While it would spoil the surprise to reveal the identity of the second character, it is fun to see the world through the eyes of this frequent interloper in my tomato patch.

The book leads you to read each line twice, as though the seers are contemplating the same thoughts. The repeating lines are incantatory, a long tradition in children’s verse (not to be confused with infuriating repetition – don’t fear, this isn’t another round of “Old MacDonald”). Readers young and old will fall under the spell of Days Like This.mRb

Meaghan Thurston is a Montreal-based arts and science writer, co-editor of With the World to Choose From: Seven Decades of the Beatty Lecture at McGill University, and mother to two budding readers.

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