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SMILE by John A. Rowe


by John A. Rowe & illustrated by John A. Rowe

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-698-40088-7
Publisher: Minedition/Penguin

Grumpy Land isn’t a fun place to be. As one might expect from the name, no one smiles; indeed, everyone, from the royal family on down, has forgotten how. Then one day, along comes Prince Grumpy the Sixth, who wears an odd look on his face. Doctors rush from far and wide to examine the newborn and diagnose his disfigurement. Readers will quickly notice that the “ailment” is a bright smile, soon adopted by the king, queen and royal siblings and then by all their subjects. All ends well as everyone keeps on smiling, and the next generation brings forth a happily grinning new royal. Rowe’s art is colorful and charming and includes quirky details; the all-animal cast is endearing, particularly their bulldog majesties. In the end, however, while the story may elicit some smiles among readers, with so little actual plot, this is a bland and predictable effort. (Picture book. 4-7)