Picture Book Review: Sneaky Shadows

Sneaky Shadows by S.C. Manchild

Sneaky Shadows
by S.C. Manchild, Sam Caldwell

3 out of 5 stars

The reader is prompted to guess what animal is making the shadow. On the next page, the animal is revealed, but it isn’t always what you might think. A shadow that looks like a camel is actually a llama balancing two jellies on their back to look like humps! A shadow that looks like an elephant’s trunk is actually a swan’s curvy neck.

Some of this book was really cute and funny, some of it was weird and strange. There is a shadow of a gorilla and a snake kissing. The text says they are “young and in love” and “spend most of the their time kissing.” That doesn’t seem quite appropriate for a children’s picture book. I mean, there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but it’s just weird.

There is a deranged-looking dog who does “yoga in the park” and tries to shield himself with “two umbrellas for privacy, but it doesn’t work.” I don’t get it. That’s just strange.

There is a kangaroo who is babysitting four young penguin children, and when the penguin parents arrive home and the house is a mess, the text reads, “What the actual heck, Wendy?” I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word “heck” in a children’s book before. Different parents will have different standards for language in their homes, and most children’s books don’t include swear words or swear word substitutes, in order to respect that some households might not allow that language. I was not allowed to say “heck” when I was a child, so it just seems out of place for this age range.

The whole story is just so chaotic. The main premise is fun, but the execution didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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