Michael Samulak’s A Wonderful Day! is a cute little children’s book about an adventure filled day at the zoo. The book is constructed so that there is a full page of illustration facing the page with the matching dialogue, which means that the writing is easily legible so that young readers won’t have to struggle to pick out the words from any interfering background image. The illustrations, by Louise charm Pulvera, are colorful, but in a relaxingly subdued manner that mimics watercolor. As such, despite the book being about an adventure filled day, the book would work well as a bedtime story.
The cover of the book is a bit misleading, as it depicts a house, its grassy front yard, and a bright, sunny day. There is no hint through the title or the image itself that the book involves a trip to the zoo. As such, it’s likely that the book may miss out on its intended audience, which is a shame.
The story itself is told between a parent and a child, describing the sights, but also asking questions such as “What animals do you think we will see first at the zoo?” These questions help make the book an interactive experience. The narrative is also wonderfully gender neutral, so that both the parent and the child could be either male or female, so that every child will be able to connect with the book. The narrative is told through a very loose rhyme scheme, which breaks down occasionally and can throw off the rhythm, particularly when reading aloud. However, it’s unlikely that the little ones will much notice or care.
The book has an added surprise; it includes a coupon code to download the audio book from the publisher’s website. While the book itself is short enough to not really necessitate an audio translation, this extra freebee is a wonderful touch. A Wonderful Day! is a sweet children’s book that will likely inspire discussions and a trip to the zoo with your own child!
Whitney Smyth received a Master’s in Book Publishing and Technical Writing at Portland State University, following a Bachelor’s in English at the University of Arizona. She took over ownership of Portland Book Review in December of 2014. She also works as a freelance editor and can be commissioned at Smyth Editorial Services and spends what little free time she has on her own writing. Coming from a family of readers she devours an average of one hundred books a year, in a variety of genres. Her favorite authors are far too numerous to list, but include Alexandre Dumas, Mary Shelley, Jim Butcher, and John Green.
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