This unique hardcover, which grew out of the popular website Spontaneous Smiley, will appeal to kids and adults. Who can resist the wacky, cute smiley faces to be spied in photos of colorful found objects? Young readers will enjoy learning their colors as they're identifying what the smileys are made from—an electrical outlet, a hubcap, even a piece of toast—and readers of all ages will appreciate the witty rhyming text, and its inspirational message about choosing happiness. ...
This unique hardcover, which grew out of the popular website Spontaneous Smiley, will appeal to kids and adults. Who can resist the wacky, cute smiley faces to be spied in photos of colorful found objects? Young readers will enjoy learning their colors as they're identifying what the smileys are made from—an electrical outlet, a hubcap, even a piece of toast—and readers of all ages will appreciate the witty rhyming text, and its inspirational message about choosing happiness.
There are signs of joy all around us, declares this cheerful and clever book developed from the Web site SpontaneousSmiley.com. Photographs grouped by color capture smiley faces hidden in an orange metal beam (rivets form the eyes, rust the mouth), a cloud, and even a pair of balloons tied to a crowd barrier strung with caution tape. A trite motivational poem (“Look all around/ And notice the good!/ Focus on that./ We think you should”) accompanies the photographs, which are the real highlight. Despite the weakness of the verse, it’s undeniably fun to find quirky faces in unexpected everyday places, and as an added bonus, an extra 32 images appear as thumbnails in the closing spread. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
A photographic collection of found faces smiles up at readers, while overly upbeat rhymes try to instill a positive attitude. Clever photos of everyday objects that reveal smiley faces hidden all around are the main focus, and they are almost enough to carry the book on their own. Two undone shirt buttons and the gap they leave form one smiley. Another is on the underside of a toy train. There is even a straight-mouthed face formed by the interplay between blue sky and heavy cloud cover. If nothing else, the photos are sure to get kids looking at the world around them in new ways. But this effort goes beyond, adding too much to too little and creating an unsuccessful hodgepodge. Her smileys are presented in color groups, but the pictures are so inherently interesting that their colors become secondary. Too, there is the problem that several of the smileys are difficult to see. However, it is in the rhyming text that the book finally falls flat. "Smile! Be happy! / You get to pick-- / When something is icky, / Do you focus on ick? // Look all around / And notice the good! / Focus on that. / We think you should." The message and its delivery are disappointingly out of sync. See the pictures without the treacly text and upload photo contributions to support Operation Smile at SpontaneousSmiley.com instead. (Picture book. 3-5)
- Tima Murrell
This book is full of smiles and colors. Seeing the positive and the smiles in everything will improve your life. The rhyming words and cheerful message wrap around smiley faces found in everyday life, such as headphones, coffee pots, and wagon tongues. If you look, you can find a smile anywhere. Each page has pictures with every day things that have a smile on it. Each page is also a different color. The book teaches colors while also teaching about cheerfulness. The age group for this book is geared for 3 to 6 year-olds. But adults will enjoy the book just as much as children. If you would like to submit your own photo of a smile there is a website that donates $1 to Operation Smile for every photo uploaded. Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children born with facial deformities. This book is not only fun, cute, and uplifting; it is also supporting a good cause. Reviewer: Tima Murrell
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Smile and look at the bright side of a situation is the moral in this concept book. Each four-line verse is a tribute to a color in the accompanying photo with a deeper message in the text of choosing to be happy. The vividly colored photos show smiling faces found on a car bumper, frosting on a cake, a tree, etc. Eleven colors are featured with, typically, two to four photos for each one. Kaiser started collecting photos of smiles that she found in the real world and from that hobby created a website and now a book. Fun and upbeat, the book could be used for teaching colors and the importance of having a positive attitude.—Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)
Meet the Author
RUTH KAISER is a mom, an artist, an actor, and a teacher. Her Internet-based Spontaneous Smiley project is made up of thousands of people photographing and posting smiley faces they find in everyday objects. (This was started long before the recent American Express ad campaign featuring similar images.) In August 2009, Spontaneous Smiley began a partnership with the charity Operation Smile, which funds surgeries for children around the globe with facial deformities. A smiley upload earns a $1 donation to Operation Smile.
Spontaneous Smiley, which has recieved well over 13 million page requests, has been used in high-school art projects in New Jersey and Washington State, and for a Girl Scout troop in California. It has gotten lots of press globally—including China—and it was recently featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.