From Publishers Weekly
Honey-gold sunlight pours across the pages of this energetic wake-up book, which borrows its metropolitan graphics and beefcake hero from 1930s-40s comic books. According to the nonchalant narration, a fellow named Jack "got up and looked out, got dressed and went out." True enough, but the pictures tell a livelier story. Jack awakens in a circus tent and flexes his action-figure pectorals: "Aaaaahh! Another perfect day!" He blasts off from a cannon and lands in a conservative blue suit,
la Clark Kent (minus the phone booth). On his way to work as an ice-cream flavor tester, he destroys a monster robot and literally "catches" a train as it careens off a bridge. Jack revels in his life, but as he strides across rooftops later on, "things started to go a little funny": he suddenly finds himself wearing an extravagant pink tutu and baby bonnet, the bane of every macho man. "What happened to my perfect day?" he asks in horror. "You didn't wake up yet!" says a boy, dressed in the same style of pajamas Jack himself wore earlier. MacDonald, a magazine illustrator, may rely on the familiar "it was all a dream" outcome (Jack is the child, not the masculine ideal) but shines in his salute to vintage comics and retro printing. He uses a breakfast-time palette of mustard yellow, syrup brown, ketchup red and warm teal blue on antique-white paper, and his sunburst patterns, roiling clouds and voice bubbles convey Jack's super-duper energy. A clean design underscores MacDonald's spot-on pacing, and the ebullient morning images have the intensity of a ringing alarm clock. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
reSchool-Grade 1-Square-jawed, muscle-bound Jack awakens and embarks on a host of fabulous adventures. Shot from a cannon directly into a spiffy blue suit, he grapples with an alligator and conquers a space alien and giant robot from the wings of his personal airplane- all on his way to work as Chief Flavor Tester in the World's Best Ice Cream Company. But then things start going a little funny. Gone is the suit, with a ballerina's pink tutu and baby's bonnet appearing in its place. Gone too is Jack's airplane, replaced by a tricycle. All of a sudden, the coppers are after him. What's happened to Jack's perfect day? Obviously it's all a bad dream and, with a little help from his pajama-clad, apple-cheeked alter ego, young Jack wakes up surrounded by the toys that gave rise to his extraordinary dream in the first place. MacDonald's exuberant illustrations are curvy and bold and hearken back to a bygone era of pulp comics. Characters speak and think in dialogue balloons; exclamations like "Oww!" "Poof!" and "Eeeek!" abound. The book is rich in visual imagery, like a double-page slapstick drawing of a fire hose run amok, or cameos of a chirping robin and warm toast in a toaster. Sepia shades infused with blue and yellow and creamy paper stock reinforce the old-fashioned look. Simple text contrasts delightfully with the energy of the illustrations (a picture of hero Jack holding up a locomotive is accompanied by, "but by now he was running late- so he caught the train-"). Another Perfect Day satisfies the unabashed superhero in all children.Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.