The Smile Shop (updated) - Satoshi Kitamura
Updated: Feb 16
THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN EDITED AND UPDATED TO COINCIDE WITH THE BLOG TOUR FOR THIS BOOK IN FEBRUARY 2021, WITH LINKS NOW ADDED TO RESOURCES I WROTE FOR THE BOOK AND SCALLYWAG PRESS.
A beautifully illustrated journey tale (in the unmistakable and wonderful unique style of Satoshi Kitamura), it follows a small boy as he starts off excitedly walking through a busy marketplace on his way to spend the pocket money he's been saving...
But, inevitably, things don't work out as straightforward as that. After walking through the bright, bustling market, filled with the sights and smells of the different stalls, the boy drops his money. The market turns grey and sad, reflecting the change in his emotions, and the boy finds himself with not enough money to buy anything: until he finds the 'Smile Shop'.
An initially quite intimidating man behind the counter refuses his offer of what little money he has left, but instead of making him leave disappointed, shows the boy that there are some things money isn't needed for, and the world is turned bright and colourful again as the boy leaves the shop smiling and happy after the man's kindness and generosity.
Beautifully illustrated, there is lots to look at in each of the double-page spreads, with a reasonably limited amount of text accompanying the simple but thoughftul and engaging drama as it unfolds.
A beautiful book to share and use to remind us that money isn't necessary to be happy, and that kindness costs nothing but makes the world a nicer place to be a part of.
Have a look at the teaching ideas I created to use with this book here, or at Scallywag's website, https://www.scallywagpress.com/images/smile-shop/TeachingIdeas_EYFS_KS1_KS2.pdf
Huge thanks to Scallywag Press and Bounce Marketing for the review copy of this wonderful book last year, for including me on the blog tour and providing the giveaway copy (UK competition, enter via my Twitter/Instagram pages: @richreadalot, closing date 9pm 16th February, 2021).
Satoshi Kitamura is an award-winning Japanese illustrator - find out more about his work at https://scallywagpress.com/authors.html#satoshi-kitamura
Find out more about Scallywag Press at www.scallywagpress.com or follow them on Twitter @scallywagpress
Bounce Marketing: https://www.bouncemarketing.co.uk/ and @bouncemarketing
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) September 2020