A Smile Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

In paper collage art, three children with light-coloured skin walk in a row along a cobblestone path. The eldest in front carries a parcel, the little boy in the middle carries a daisy and walks with a big smile on his face, and the girl at the end of the train carries a cake. A brown cat follows behind them, and a beaming yellow sun smiles down on the children.“Using brightly colored forms, cheerful collage illustrations provide a lively, child-centric, visual context for this uncredited English adaptation of the poem “Un sourire,” attributed to Follereau, a French humanitarian who worked with people who had Hansen’s disease. Opening with smiling parents waking their children in the morning, the simple text reminds readers “a smile costs nothing” and can be given to others.”

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School Library Journal

“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.”

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Independent Book Reviews

“This is a gorgeous children’s picture book about smiling.
Simply perfect for anyone at anytime – it will certainly make you smile!”

North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

“Whilst accompanying the poem, the illustrations tell their own story as well, showing the kindness, hope and joy a simple smile can bring to everyone. Each spread is bright and bursting with life, full of details to notice and enjoy. Hoda Hadadi’s pictures showing a day in the life of two smiling children would make a wonderful starting point for story telling and collage work.”

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Picture Book Snob

“This is perfect for gently introducing children to the importance of kindness and altruisim, as well as easy ways to practice what they’ve learned. It’s a fabulous bedtime story and Hoda’s art will encourage young people to be creative themselves. This is ideal for use in a classroom and for basing activities around too. This book would also make a marvellous and memorable gift, for adults as well as children. It’s sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who reads it.”

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Library Lady

“The cover depicting a trio of smiling children beneath a beaming sun and jolly smiling clouds instantly lifts your spirits and the endpapers continue the theme with a garden of flowers each of them smiling happily. The reader follows the children as they spread their smiles among the people they meet; the rich man with his downcast face, the young unemployed man lost in sadness and the little girl with the burst balloon. As we turn the pages we watch as their days are transformed by this small act of kindness.”

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“A SMILE was gifted to us by @pajamapressbooks (with whom I work as an author). It’s an illustrated translation of a poem by French poet and humanitarian Raoul Follereau, who I must confess I knew nothing about before reading the afterword. The text is nice (the basic premise being “smile and the world smiles with you” ), but it’s the illustrations by Hoda Hadadi that really make this work shine. Each page is bursting with joy and colour, and detail, and A. just adores gazing at each page.”

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