A Smile

Pajama. Aug. 2021. 24p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781772782271.
K-Gr 2–Follereau, who founded World Leprosy Day nearly a century ago, offers aphorisms galore in a simple treatise to pass along a smile. “If you meet someone who has forgotten how to smile,/ Be generous. Give them one of yours.” Every sentence reads as truth, and Hadadi, working in a primary palette of good cheer, welcome, and bright colors, invites readers into the pages. Three joyful children go on a walk, visit a bakery, espy an older man giving someone less fortunate coffee and pastries—and more importantly, conversation—and witness how a smile given freely can change the tenor of the day. The publisher’s note explains Follereau’s philosophy, and helps anchor this airy work to serious goals.
VERDICT A quiet idea, amplified, that to be kind, all children need is a smile. Perhaps this is not an essential purchase, but the message is one that complements other SEL lessons.

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