Monday, June 25, 2018

The Smile by Michelle Magorian illustrated by Sam Usher

While I was in London recently I found some shops had shelves filled with titles from this series - Little Gems published by Barrington Stoke. There are forty Little Gems written by very famous UK authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Alexander McCall Smith, Anne Fine and as you see here Michelle Magorian -  the author of one of my most favourite senior primary titles - Goodnight Mister Tom. Little Gems are a small size which is appealing, they have fold-over covers, easy to read text with plenty of white space and one or two puzzle pages linked with the story. I would recommend adding all of the books from this series to a Primary School library.

Luckily for me the library I visit each week has the full set of these little beginning chapter books so over the coming weeks I plan to borrow and read a few.  I started with The Smile. The Smile has just seven chapters which take place over one night.

You can see on the front cover Josh is holding a baby - this is his brother and as you might expect, Josh is feeling very left out. The family have moved to a new house. Josh is in his new room but his things are not yet unpacked or set up for him. AND his new baby brother seems to be taking all the attention. Life was better before all this change!

Mum wants to take a quick shower. She asks Josh to hold the baby. Charlie is exactly 17 days old.

"Josh watched her stagger to the door. She had had less sleep than all of them. All of a sudden he felt ashamed that he had been so grumpy. 'Take as long as you like in the shower, Mum,' he whispered. 'Me and Charlie will be OK."

The power of this story telling comes from the genuine way Josh's emotions are explored.

If you would like to explore other books on the topic of a new baby take a look at my Pinterest collection. One of the books I would link with The Smile is The Swap.

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