Cartoonist Jeff Smith talks about his new children's book.

WHO: Jeff Smith

WHERE: Smith's German Village studio

WHEN: Oct. 9, 2018

THE BACKSTORY: You might recognize Columbus cartoonist Jeff Smith for his well-known Bone comics series, which he's been drawing since he was a student at Ohio State University in the 1980s. If you have kids in grades 4-8, they might recognize Smith, too, from Scholastic's colorized versions of the Bone tales.

But now, younger readers also will get a chance to become familiar with Smith's work, thanks to “Smiley's Dream Book,” a picture book for preschoolers. Since its debut, it has drawn props from The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal.

This isn't Smith's first foray into kiddie lit, however. He previously wrote “Little Mouse Gets Ready: A Toon Book,” which was named a 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book.

Photo editor Tim Johnson enjoyed getting a peek at Smith's creative process. “It's amazing the volume of work that he has done and really the worlds and the mythologies he has created,” Tim said.

Though Smith never intended to pen stories for children, it seems to be working out well.