Book of the Week: Smile!

Smile! by Leigh Hodgkinson

Published: 2009 by Balzer + Bray

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

I love the turquoise colored end papers. The shade of turquoise is so deep, lush, rich. Any of those adjectives would greatly describe the end papers.

Speaking of the end papers, the illustrations of various animals and objects – – animals, flowers, robots – – adorned on them are not only adorable, but extremely funny. And they all have something in common: they’re not smiling 😦

I particularly love the frowning whale.

I love how bright this book is! From bright lemon yellow to hot pink, almost every color is accounted for.

This book not only shows the importance of smiling, but also how easy it is to lose one’s smile.

Main character Sunny has lost her smile, and she’s searching high and low. I love how determined this small heroine is.

I really liked how this book shows that being happy is an important emotion, and how being happy effects not only one’s emotional state, but every aspect of one’s life.

Sunny’s faithful companion is a dog … a weenie dog!

I feel that this book illustrates that children have things that concern and worry them. Just because a person is small, doesn’t mean that life doesn’t affect them or exclude them from the messy bits.

Sunny is a smart and logical girl. A girl who readers will quickly relate to.

I love the illustrations that fill the pages. They’ve often oversized, and look as if a kid drew them. That’s not saying that there isn’t any skill.

I love that the pictures look like a kid drew them. The illustrations are invite both young and old readers in.

Certain words are underlined. I think that design element can really help kids learn to spell long words.

This book shows  the importance of remembering, of keeping memories alive.

The book uses words like “UN-Higgledy-piggledy”.

Sunny’s goldfish looks like one ticked off fish. It’s actually kind of funny. And to make it all the more funnier – the fish’s name is Glittergills!

I want a fish named Glittergills.

I like how Sunny thinks that someone stole her smile. In all serious, I think it’s so possible for someone to steal a smile. I like how this book points them out.

The story points out that smiles are unique to the individual, and that our smiles make us unique.

There’s an illustration in the book, a planet with a small house turning upside down. It reminds me of something out of the Little Prince. And anything that reminds me of the Little Prince is great in my book.

Author Leigh Hodgkinson has an eye for detail. Kids won’t only appreciate that, but will notice those small details. Like the fact that Sunny’s mom is wearing green eyeshadow.

Sunny realizes that even if you’re not smiling doesn’t mean you’re not happy. Sometimes smiles go away cause you’re simply content, and it only takes something you love to bring that smile again.

The story points out a frown really is a smile turned upside down.

I love the very last illustration of the book: Sunny and her family sitting at the table, enjoying a family meal. I like that it ends on that note, showing the importance of a family dinner.

I love the writing. It’s crisp yet whimsical.  And I love how the illustrations and the writing complement each other.