Reviews, Articles, and Interviews

February, 2021: Starred review of The Pig War in School Library Connect. Excerpt: “History has never been as much fun as you’ll find it represented in this cute picture book! Highly recommended.”

October, 2020: Review in The Midwest Book Review. Excerpt: “an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Pets/Wildlife picture book collections for children ages 4-8.”

October 15, 2020: Starred review of The Pig War in Booklist. Excerpt: “A timely case study in how countries with differences can find peaceable alternatives to armed conflict.”

October 1, 2020: Kirkus review of The Pig War. Excerpt: “Colorful, stylized art against apparently distressed surfaces is an impeccable complement. Weirdly fascinating.”

September 15, 2020. Book review of Claude in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Claude’s story, so deftly captured by Smith and Potter, offers more than information about an albino alligator. As a shared read-aloud between adult and child, the book prompts discussions about adaptation, race, acceptance and the environment.”

Aug 28, 2020: Feature in Kidlit 411.

July 8, 2020: Booklist review of Claude. Excerpt: “Claude’s hopeful tale is a celebration of individuality and the joy in finding those who appreciate you for exactly who you are.”

June 1, 2020: School Library Journal review of Odin. Excerpt: “A heartwarming tale of survival against all odds… Highly recommended for all school libraries.”

May 3, 2020: Starred review of Claude in Kirkus Reviews. Excerpt: “The theme of rejection due to difference is an intrinsic part of Claude’s story, so readers develop sympathy and empathy as they also learn facts about albinism and animal behavior… Sweet and engaging.”

April 2020: Interview on Lisa Kerr’s blog.

April 2020: Kirkus review of Odin: Dog Hero of the Fires. Excerpt: “The dog relates the harrowing tale in first-person present tense, adding dramatic suspense as the plot unfolds. . . The scenes of the nighttime fire and the hazy, gray day that follows, however, project a dreamlike effect that in combination with the posed animals conveys the nightmarish quality of the wildfire and its aftermath. . . An entertaining story of a dog’s brave behavior in a devastating wildfire.”

March 2020: Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator in Red Tricycle.

January 2020: To Live on an Island reviewed in Kids Book Buzz.

June 2019: To Live on an Island in Washington Family magazine.

2/6/19: Kirkus review for To Live on an Island. Excerpts: “…reminiscent of Robert McCloskey…” “A heartfelt snapshot of a way of life.”

12/18/2017: Emma featured on Melissa Stoller’s blog, This Writing Life.

8/13/2017: Emma featured on Magnolia and Manuscripts blog.

8/8/2017: Journey named finalist for Washington State Book Award. Read list of finalists here.

5/18/2017: Journey honored at Bank Street College award ceremony. Read Publisher’s Weekly recap here. Click here to view ceremony (at 1:17) or go to KidLit TV on Facebook.

5/2/2017: Journey named winner of Bank Street College’s Cook Prize.

4/22/2017: Journey named winner of Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA), children’s book category.

1/4/2017: Oregon Wild interview.

1/2/2017: Feature on Robin James (Journey illustrator) on Seattle news station.

12/4/2016: Interview on A Novel Idea radio show, KRCB (Sonoma) NPR station. Emma’s part begins at minute 35.

12/2016: Alaska Beyond Magazine (December 2016 edition)

11/16/16: Lu and Bean Read Podcast interview. Excerpt: “Smith’s book captures the complex interplay between the natural world and our human interests.”

11/9/16: Washington Parent review. Excerpt: “…compelling… Illustrations by Robin James capture the strength and dignity of the wolf and the sweeping vistas and small details of the native flora and fauna that he passes.”

11/4/16: Huffington Post feature. Excerpt: “Every now and again a book comes along that moves me all over the place.”

11/4/16: Psychology Today blog feature. Excerpt: “All in all this book is outstanding and I’m sure audiences of all ages will enjoy it.”

10/12/16: Librarian in Cute shoes interview. Excerpt: “I thought this melancholy love story had the makings of a good book…”

10/12/16: Librarian’s Quest blog write-up. Excerpt: “Journey… inspires us to be better protectors and active in wildlife recovery efforts.”

9/17/16: Red Tricycle feature. Excerpt: “But if the true story of the wandering wolf doesn’t make you teary, the parallel tale of Abby, a young girl who follows his story in the news and becomes intent on helping him, will definitely tug at those heartstrings.”

School Library Journal review. Excerpt: “An informative, well-written story useful for units on wolves or nature studies.”

9/16/16: Booklist review. Excerpt: “This accessible and engaging picture book is an empowering account of a conservation success story.”

7/20/16: Kirkus review. Excerpt: “…environmental good news invitingly presented.”

5/23/16: Interview on the blog of Karlin Gray, author of Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still. Excerpt: “I hung up, then put my head down on my kitchen counter and cried. After countless rejections for other books, over the years, the relief and gratification was just immense.”