Artist and children’s author Cherry Smith has released her second book, and this one is especially close to her heart.
“Sleepwalk Jones” is the story of a young boy who must make his way home through some dark and scary woods, and he finds encouragement and wisdom in a kindly old man who happens to have a canary on his shoulder. Along the way, the old man helps Jeremy discover that it’s worth walking on a few briars to get home — to a place where people love you.
The idea for the story first came to Smith when she was a teenager on a mission trip to New Orleans and working with young people at the Carver Center. Jeremy was one of the youth who came to the center for tutoring and recreation. Most days, he walked through the inner city to get to the center.
“Jeremy’s story made a lasting impression on me,” said Smith. “I wrote it and retooled it, and over the years it’s evolved. My mom had a hand in editing ‘Sleepwalk Jones’ before she died, and because the Carver Center was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, this story is dear to my heart.”
“Sleepwalk Jones” is a 34-page horizontal picture-book for children ages six and up. Jeremy’s perilous journey unfolds against the artist’s meticulous autumnal landscape, rich with muted browns and luminous golds and animated by leaves dancing and darting in the gusts of a fading afternoon.
Smith is the author/illustrator of a previous book: “Juniper Jupiter: World’s Greatest Juggler.”