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One Smile

One Smile

4.6 7
by Cindy McKinley, Mary Gregg Byrne (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a simple story with a simply powerful message—receive a kind gesture, give a kind gesture. Based on the "pay it forward" concept, this story illustrates the power of an act of kindness. Katie, a young girl, smiles unabashedly at a stranger, giving him the encouragement to go forward in his seemingly endless job search. With newfound hope, this man stops to help a woman with a flat tire who then leaves an extra tip to a waitress. The domino effect continues until it leads back to Katie. She and her mother receive the good news that their van has been fixed (coincidentally by the man who received her warm smile at the start of the book) and they are able to drive to her grandfather's home for his birthday. The circle of kindness is complete and the reader feels the power of its embrace. The watercolor illustrations accompanying this story are equally charming. The facial expressions are especially touching and the detail spent on the different animals placed within the story's setting is remarkable. An address for the "Pay It Forward Foundation" as well as an explanation of the organization is supplied at the end of the book. 2002, Illumination Arts,
— Andrea Sears Andrews
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-On the way to the bus, a little girl smiles brightly at a young man sitting on a park bench. He has recently lost his job and is feeling discouraged, but Katie's smile inspires him to start looking for a new one. The young man in turn helps a woman change her flat tire; the woman, feeling grateful, leaves a large tip for a waitress; the waitress uses the tip to buy food for a picnic for her children, and they invite another family to share with them; etc., etc., etc. In the end, Katie and the man are reunited when he has a new position as a mechanic and repairs her mother's car. This enables the child to attend her grandfather's birthday party. The purpose of the story is to show how even the smallest act of kindness can powerfully impact the lives of others, but the events seem manipulated. Also, the waitress's tip enables her to buy sodas, potato salad, fried chicken, and a soccer ball, which seems highly unlikely. While the full-bleed, full-spread pictures of Lisa and the people she meets are colorful and competently done, this is an additional purchase.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Illumination Arts Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Customer Reviews

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One Smile 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lori A. Moore for Readers' Favorite One Smile by Cindy McKinley is a wonderful book about paying it forward. It starts with a little girl named Katie who notices a young man on a park bench - he looks like he’s having a bad day, so she smiles at him. The smile encouraged the unemployed man to start looking for a new job and, on his way to do so, he runs across a woman who needs help so he changes her tire for her. Later, the woman, feeling grateful for the young man’s help earlier, leaves a generous tip for the waitress at lunch. The waitress then feels so good about the kindness of the woman that she brings home extra surprises for her son. You can see where this is going, can’t you? One after the other, each person touched pays it forward for the next person until it eventually comes back to the little girl, Katie. Beautifully illustrated by Mary Gregg Byne and written by Cindy McKinley, One Smile is a feel-good book that will inspire people to want to pay it forward as well. We should all want to set off a chain of kindness like the one depicted in One Smile. Reading the story and how each person was affected made me feel a warm spot in my heart and the desire to be the “Katie” today. Everyone has the opportunity to enhance the lives of others, even if it only starts with a smile. Be that person today; you can do it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book to my first grade class as a springboard to a 'Random Acts of Kindness' activity we are beginning. The children loved it as much as I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One simple little smile, sometimes given without any thought at all, can start a ripple of happiness that will go on forever. This is the unmistakable truth that is so clearly authenticated in One Smile.

This story is about little Katie who was happily skipping along in the park one sunny morning with her mother. They were hurrying to catch a bus because their van was in the shop for repairs. As Katie and her mother briskly walked past a park bench, Katie spied a young man sitting there who looked very sad. Katie had no way of knowing it, but the young man had just lost his job. Quick as a wink, she flashed him a brilliant smile. That beautiful smile, so freely given by this happy little child, seemed to light up his heart. Other people had passed him that morning without even noticing him; therefore, Katie¿s innocent smile, which was so unexpected, became his inspiration to start looking for a job.

As the author carries us through the story, we see many acts of kindness unfold as others continue what Katie¿s innocent smile began. The young man stops to help a woman by fixing her flat tire. Later, when this same woman finished her lunch, she left an extra large tip for the waitress. And so it went as Katie¿s smile moved on and on in many different ways, and eventually even made its way back to help Katie in the story¿s heart-warming ending. Thus we see that all it really takes to change the world is One Smile.

***** I highly recommend this book. It is very well written and the illustrations are vivid and beautiful. In the back of the book the author has included a page that will help families think about things they can do together to help others. *****

Reviewed by Ruth Wilson.

Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to see a prerelease of this lovely children's story and I was quite taken with it. There is a sense of true community as the story unfolds, demonstrating how a simple gesture can connect the lives of seemingly unconnected people. The watercolor illustrations are very pleasing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is truely a joy to read. Unfortunately I had to return my copy and my kids won't let me forget it. They still have fun remembering the links of happiness until they come full circle. It was instantly a family favorite leading to many discussions of bringing joy to others. They can't wait until it comes out, and they all want their own copies!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to preview this work before its official release date and it is well done. An overall excellent effort by both McKinley and Byrne....