Friday, 9 October 2020

The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


 August 2020, Scallywag Press, 32 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Book summary from Scallywag Press

A small boy has saved all his pocket money and visits the market with high expectations. When disaster strikes and he loses his money, he feels devastated – all is lost! But wait, what's that? A Smile Shop? He could really do with a smile. What will happen if he goes in?

Nayu's thoughts

I've had the pleasant surprise of realising that I've already reviewed one of Satoshi's books, Hat Tricks, on this blog! You can see it in the suggested read at the end of this review. I was intrigued by what a smile shop was, and so too is the young boy. It is a little sad how he ended up at the shop, he was so enthralled by all the glorious items on sale in the market that he couldn't make up his mind what to buy. He then lost most of his money which made me feel sad for him. The smile shop is actually a photo shop, but the boy found out smiles are extremely precious and can have a huge influence on all who see a smile. He manages to change the mood of all the shoppers - many who do look a bit miserable on the pages. 

The positive message from the tale pairs up with highly detailed illustrations in subtle colours, apart from the boy who is brightly coloured. I loved these kind of books as a child, I'd make up stories about what all the characters were doing from the market stall sales people, the men and women buying items, those who seem focused on something, people who could be thieves but probably aren't as suspicious as they look. Much time can be spent imagining stories on each page outside of the main the story. That adds a lot of value to a book, and I hope readers get as lost in the pictures as I do. 

Suggested read

Check out Satoshi's other work including Hattie's Magic Show: Hat Tricks by Satoshi Kitamura (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


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