The Smile Shop

Publisher: Scallywag Press

A young boy is meandering through town absorbing the sights, sounds and smells as he goes. He wants to buy something but what should he choose? There are interesting foods he could try, beautiful toys, colourful books or maybe a musical instrument or a hat?

The time has come to make a decision but then – disaster! His money is lost and, with only one coin left, his day is ruined. But wait, what’s that? A shop selling smiles? Well, he could really do with a smile just now and although what he finds inside is not what he expected, it certainly fills the rest of the day with smiles.

This wonderful picture book is packed with beautifully observed illustrations, full of gentle humour and intricate detail, which reflect a multicultural, multi-ethnic town.

An initial mood of excitement and anticipation is followed by tension and disappointment until a final realisation that kindness is more important than money. Both youngsters and adults will appreciate the emotional heft of a deceptively simple story that works because of a fundamental misunderstanding and a delicious element of surprise.

This is the book to prove that a smile really is the gift that keeps on giving.

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