Sometimes – A lot of sometimes – I want to smile.
It could be …
Smile/Cry is a ‘flip’ book. ‘Smile’ is read from the front, and offers different kinds of smiles that appear on the faces of three childlike characters: a rabbit, a cat and a pig. Flip the book and ‘Cry’ details the trio experiencing sadness of different sorts as they traverse their day/week/friendship. ‘Smile’ and ‘Cry’ meet in the middle with a double page spread that envelops the reader in a big hug full of smiles and tears simultaneously. Illustrations are pencil and watercolour and help the reader to recognise emotions. The ‘Smile’ cover is bright sunshine-y yellow and the ‘Cry’ cover is in more muted tones.
Smile/Cry has a sticker on the front advertising that it is a ‘A Beginner’s Book of Feelings’. (It also suggests which side to start reading). It’s also a story about friendship and play. It offers the opportunity to talk about how each individual feels and about how their feelings can affect how they relate to others. It’s easy to imagine young readers emulating both the activities and the response depicted. Recommended for preschoolers and early schoolers.
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller