Runaway Smile – Nicholas Rossis – 4 stars Sometimes you have to take a break from your Shakespeare and take a ‘reading breather’. Children’s literature isn’t always the way forwards, but I want to suggest that this book totally is.
Aimed at slightly more fluent readers (it’s 60 pages long), I think it would be great read aloud or alone: it’s clear and imaginative, and a lot of fun.
The story is your classic ‘I lost the thing have you seen it’ structure, with great twists of magic realism and a really gorgeous message:
Anything you give with love, multiplies.
How nice is that?
Part of what made this book so special for me was the beautiful illustrations by Dimitris Fousekis – they’re just the right combination of silly, humourous, and really really lovely.
The flashes of abstract were almost reminiscent of Dr Seuss, but the firm grounding in the little narrator’s reality kept the story solid.
The only thing I was unsure about was the poem at the end of the book: I realise that children’s books often feature a fun rhyming summary of the story, but I didn’t feel like this one added anything to it.
All in all, though, I really loved this little book – it made me smile, and the fiercely imaginative characters and art are perfect for easing you out of your reading slump.
This book only came out this month, and it is available really cheaply on Amazon!
If you’ve read this too, or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.