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The Smile Shop

"A beaming smile of a picture book by a superstar creator"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

February 2024 Picture Book of the Month

Children will understand absolutely the thrill the young boy in this story feels as he sets out to choose and buy something for himself, a collection of coins held tightly in his hand. And there’s so much to choose from in this busy street: there’s a music shop, a book stall, a toyshop, not to mention stalls selling a variety of delicious food.

He’s almost decided when disaster strikes and the money is knocked from his hand, disappearing down a drain. Dejected – so much so that the street itself turns grey – he finds a shop that might help. It’s called Smile – could he afford one little smile with the coin he has left?

Adult readers will realise the shop is a photographers, and the boy leaves with a photo and smile to take back out into the street, now full of colour again, a smile he can exchange for many more.

Satoshi Kitamura is one of the world’s very best picture book creators and this story, seemingly so simple, shows us so much about the world and what really matters. It’s also beautifully composed and illustrated, giving readers of all ages so much to discover.

Andrea Reece

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