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Smile If You're Human Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Lexile Measure: 200L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; 1st edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803723814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803723818
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 11.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

English illustrator Layton makes his U.S. debut with this altogether prepossessing tale of interplanetary tourism. As a spherical orange spaceship comes to rest on a pale-yellow Earth sidewalk, the young alien narrator announces, "I've brought my camera and hope to take a picture of a most unusual creature known as a 'human,' " while pressing against the craft's window with evident delight. Like any curious family, the extraterrestrial child, mother and father disembark and begin to explore what turns out to be a walled zoo. Unaware that the humans have dispersed (one image shows two cars speeding away), the aliens proceed to the animals' cages, earnestly consulting the "Aliens' Guide to Earth." The child checks to see if humans tend to bounce ("Mom looked at her book. 'This jumpy fellow is a kangaroo. Humans like to walk' "), and inquires about a four-legged, striped thing that readers will know as a tiger. Layton's gestural artwork may at first appear unsophisticated, but his cursory outlines and roughed-in swatches of paint serve to animate the ebullient pictures. The aliens resemble colorful patchwork bugs, with cheerful smiles, skinny legs and two eyeballs that wave high on thin stalks; conventional hats (e.g., a fedora for Dad) levitate in the air above their eyes. Their na?vet? is charming, particularly when they arrive at a gorilla's cage and make a small error; at least Junior gets a snapshot of someone's smile. Young Earthlings will surely giggle at these peaceful, flash-happy tourists. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-An alien family lands a rocket ship on Earth, in the middle of a zoo. The child, armed with a camera, looks for humans to photograph. He wonders about each animal that they see, continually asking, "Is that a human?" His parents look each one up in their guidebook only to identify it as a kangaroo, tiger, penguin, or giraffe. But when they catch a glimpse of a mysterious creature peeking out of the last house in the zoo, they declare it human, and the alien child snaps a picture. Observant readers will figure out the truth even before the page is turned and delight in knowing more than the protagonists. Layton's amusing stick-figure aliens have bodies splashed with colors in geometric shapes. Their eyes stand on stalks and their hats hang in the air above their heads. The close-up views of the animals, with eyes popping, strutting their charms, are wonderful. The text has repetitive phrases that encourage participation. Pair this humorous tale with Jeanne Willis's Earthlets, as Explained by Professor Xargle (Dutton, 1989) for a look at humans from an unusual point of view.
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Megan Allyn on April 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for the young children. The words are large and there are few to a page, which makes it easier for the children to memorize. It is about aliens who come down to earth to find a human. However instead of landing in a town the aliens land in a zoo, and they go from animal to animal thinking each one is a human at first but learning that they are not. At the end they aliens think that they have found a human and they take a picture...however is it really a human. The story is light hearted. I like this story because it shows the importance of description and communication, sense the aliens didn't know enough about humans, they thought that the animals were humans. The author did a great job at introducing the different kinds of animals in a zoo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We're all familiar with picture books in which a character is searching for family or identity based on comparing characteristics of the creatures he/she meets against his/her own features. Well, in this book, a family of aliens has touched down on earth, in a zoo, and they are seeking an example of human life. They must have come on an off-day because there aren't any humans at the zoo, but there are lots of animals. The alien mom compares each animal against the description of humans in her book and finds that none quite fit the bill . . . until the end of the book. The payoff is that they identify a smiling gorilla as a human. The picture is a funny one, and the text concludes that they have discovered that humans have the greatest smiles (based on the toothy grin of the gorilla). The book is fun to read and the illustrations are funny. I would recommend it for kindergarten-age kids.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My 3 year old enjoyed this book very much. It shows the difference between some of the zoo animals and humans. She knows now that penguins have webbed feet and wings, etc. We enjoyed reading it and enjoyed the colorful pictures.
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