SHARING A SMILE
by Nicki Kramer
Illustrated by Ashley Evans
Simon & Schuster
ages 4 to 8
In a changing world, little Sophie is feeling a bit worried. She loves being outside and playing with her friends in her neighborhood. But going outside lately means wearing a mask—something Sophie is still trying to understand. It makes her nervous when she wants to be brave. And after taking a closer look outside her window, watching her neighbors adjusting to this new normal, she realizes she isn’t the only one who feels a little scared.
Which gives Sophie an idea. With her grandpa’s help, she does something special for the people in her neighborhood. When Sophie sees her small acts of kindness spread, she realizes that with the help of friends in our communities, anyone can find their courage—and their smile.
* addresses mask wearing due to COVID-19
* inspires spreading joy to others
* neighborly love
* brightly illustrated
* promotes inclusitivity
Bright and bold, these pages address the idea of wearing masks and how to bring smiles even if they aren't directly seen.
This is a book set very much for current event s and today's time period, and addresses the 'weirdness' kids might find at the idea of everyone wearing masks. It does a good job at calming and soothing any strangeness about it. But that's only the beginning of this one.
Through colorful and vibrant illustrations, the joy and energy is kept high and slides right into the entire meaning behind this book. Whether or not masks are around, this one has a wonderful message, which never wears out. It's wonderful to bring joy to others, and this is something even young listeners can do.
A young girl wonders about the situation as she watches the world around her from her window, and then she sews masks with her father to spread around...ones printed fitting to each person and personality they are giving them to. Firstly, I loved the idea of the child and father sewing together, since this is a skill very often overlooked in today's world. Secondly, there is a lovely message of working at something with the sole purpose to give a little joy to others. This alone is a very inspiring message, timeless, and tends to be underrated in today's busy (and sometimes cold) world. And while these messages are being brought across, the joy and fun still stays at the front of this read.
It makes a nice read aloud for groups as well as for individual reading moments. The text is appropriate for the age group, describes people and scenes kids can relate to, and has a girl and father, who are simply a joy to read about.
And here they are...
Nicki Kramar has been an active part of children’s publishing for almost a decade. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Nicki now lives in New York, New York, with her persnickety cat in an apartment overflowing with books.
Ashley Evans loves creating colorful, fun, and dynamic images. Born and raised in Queens, New York, she now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her boyfriend and their daughter. When she’s not creating art, you can find Evans decorating cakes, enjoying her family, or catching a much-needed nap!