The gift of a smile


The Smile Shop

Written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura (Atlanta, Ga.: Peachtree Publishing Company, Inc., 2021, 32 pp., $17.99, hard cover)

A young boy stands on the sidewalk staring at his pocket money. He plans to buy himself something special.

As he walks through the bustling marketplace, he is close to a food stall with pans of hot food. What should he buy? Apple pie? He looks at many clocks and toys. He goes to a bookstore, a store that sells horns, harps and other musical instruments. He goes to an art store next.

He wanders around the town trying to decide what to buy. Ooops! He dropped his coins in the gutter. He has only one coin left.

He walks into a shop with the word “Smile” hanging from the window. He asks the man behind the counter if he can buy a smile. The man says he does not sell smiles, but he smiles at the boy and takes a picture of him smiling at the man. He gives the boy the picture and waves goodbye to him from his photo shop door.

As he walked home, he saw everyone on the street was smiling as they listened to some street musicians. What a nice day!

This is a pleasant look at a cute young boy exploring his hometown. The artwork is charming. I enjoyed the story and recommend it. It’s a feel-good book. Though we all might face some disappointments in life, it’s good to try to look at the bright side of things. Recommended reading age 4-8 years.

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