SMILE! by Geraldine McCaughrean

SMILE!

Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fast-paced opener finds Flash, photographer-pilot, plummeting to the earth, cushioned by trees and thrown out of the cockpit, while flames gobble up his plane upon final impact. Where is he? It doesn’t matter at first. The confused photographer’s holding his Polaroid, when, led by two child primitives, he stumbles into a village. The camera becomes the best possible item he could have brought, as the primitives see special photographs that reflect and symbolize both their physical and internal world. The black-and-white drawings, one Polaroid per chapter, create the desire to look around the picture’s four corners to see the rest of the landscape and people, as well as flip through the pages to see what part of the village comes next. As Flash continues to experience confusion and head pain, he learns to think with his heart and develops as a character. What wasn’t important in the beginning, when his near fiery death and survival were central, becomes a delicious set of mysteries after his rescue: Where was he, and who were those people that he grew to love? Exquisitely told; fascinatingly seductive. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83640-3
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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