Friday, July 14, 2023

Today's read... A Year of Good News by Martin Smatana

After yesterday's bitter-sweet read, it's time for something up-lifting and cheerful. The title makes it pretty clear what this one will be about. Now, when I first got my hands on it, I was a teensy-tiny bit and events as a picture book for kids? I've had my hands on 'similar' themes in years past and wasn't always won over, since the authors often seemed to forget what kids found important. Kids are not mini-adults. But I was also promised that this one is quite the treat. So, I decided to keep an open mind and dive in with positive expectations.

As an after-note: this read deserves to go on the Favorites of 2023 list, but then, I'd have to shove it into one particular age category. While it is sold as a children's picture book, this read offers so much more than that (and is great for kids too!). I can highly recommend this one for every age group (something I very, very, very rarely say) and to every reader, who simply wants to pick up a book and enjoy every moment of flipping a little here and a little there and smiling each and every time.

by Martin Smatana
Boxer Books
Children's Nonfiction
ages 4 and up
112 pages

Are you one of those people who feel that over the last few years we have had more than our fair share of bad news? This fabulous gift book is a perfect antidote to bad news stories. Filled with happiness and positivity, this celebrates the good things in life, and puts a smile on any reader's face!

GOODREADS    /     B&N     /     BOOKSHOP    /     AMAZON


While sold as a children's book, these pages hold goodness which will catch the smiles of all ages.

Sadness, depression, and wonders about the state of the world today drift away thanks to the rays of light and hope offered in these pages. There are 52 events mentioned, one for every week of the year. These are taken from news articles around the world, small and big, and demonstrate that wonderful things happen constantly. The moments cover everything from a hospital's kindness to kids to a bus stop surprise and much, much more. Each of these is a true occurrence, but very few will be already known to readers, since these aren't earth-shattering things. They just brighten the world and prove that kindness has not disappeared. Not by any means.

The author has kept the text very short and concise, usually only using two or three sentences (at most). But that's all which is needed to make each one clear, understandable, and lighten the heart. The text is in the middle of the page and in bold and large font. Across from it (on the other side of the 2-page spread) is a bright and whimsical photo of a display, which the author crafted to depict the scene. These are done, mostly, in cloth and with sewn characters. There is so much love, detail and effort put into each one, and these do come across wonderfully. Plus, the textured effect offers warmth, while the details invite readers to flip through the pages and explore these again and again.

This is a book, which invites to be picked up whenever the heart desires. While there are 52 stories, which are said to be read each week, it's too addicting. Instead, everyone in my family who touched it, jumped here and there to see what other touching moments are shown. It's the type of book to be left on the nightstand or side table, and will capture the attention of a large variety and ages of readers. This one is going to join my own main bookshelf for years to come.

And here he is...

MARTIN SMATANA is an animated filmmaker. He has spent many years leading animation workshops for children. His debut film, Rosso Papavero, won 13 international awards. In January 2019, he finished his graduation stop-motion film for children, The Kite. The film was awarded the first prize at Animarkt Pitching Forum 2017 in Lodz, Poland.​

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