The Smile Shop - Satoshi Kitamura
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 loads to look at in each of the double-page spreads, with a reasonably limited amount of text accompanying the simple but thoughful 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.
Huge thanks to Scallywag Press and Bounce Marketing for the review copy of this wonderful book.
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