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Runaway Smile: An unshared smile is a wasted smile Paperback – December 2, 2014
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"Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. 'Runaway Smile' has joined the list."
- Juliet Aharoni
"From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure."
- Anne Peterson
"Runaway Smile is a whimsical tale of a boy who loses his smile. Perhaps he lent it to me - I certainly smiled as I read my way through the story... Like all the best fairy tales, it has a timeless appeal and a gentle message."
- Helen Jones
From the Author
A little-known fact about writing your first book: unless you inform others of your intention well in advance, you might find yourself in an awkward position. Like, when you present your manuscript to your parents so they can read it. A couple of months later, when you ask if they have read it, your dad will go, slightly annoyed, "no, I'm re-reading Martin's books right now, so it'll have to wait."
Then, a further couple of months later, he'll call you late at night to say, "great book, son, with some fantastic ideas! I was totally hooked. A page-turner; kept me up at night. You know what this guy did? He took historical elements from ancient Greece and created a space opera with them."
And you'll say, after a brief pause, "what guy?"
And your dad will say, in a confused voice, "why, whoever wrote this. There was no name on the manuscript."
Now, what I should have said, of course, is something along the lines of "it's not really a space opera,dad, but a dark epic fantasy with a sci-fi twist, where the heroes face tough moral dilemmas, discovering themselves in the process."
But no-one talks to their dad this way, right?
So all I said, once I managed to stop laughing, was, "I wrote it, dad. But I'm super glad you liked it even before you knew that."
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Top Customer Reviews
The boy meets several adult characters on his way to school. A workman, a man walking his goldfish, a king being photographed, the greatest salesman in the world, and a clown, each display smiles that they are unwilling to share with the boy. At school, the boy asks his teacher , but she replies that a classroom is no place for a smile and proceeds to pass out a test! By this time the poor boy is completely disheartened. When he gets home, he asks his mother how to find his smile. She reveals the secret.
The sepia toned illustrations in this book are done beautifully; they capture the spirit and humor of the tale. A poem, “Ode to a runaway smile,” included at the end portrays the cleverness and wit of the author. Adults will understand all the nuances of this story. The simple illustration on the cover is a bit misleading as to the underlying story. Young children will enjoy the pictures but probably won’t grasp some of the concepts without adult guidance. I feel the book is best suited for independent readers who enjoy different kinds of books with an unusual plot so I would especially recommend it for ages ten and older.
This story is layered with thought-provoking semiotics that will attract parents as well. Fantastic illustrations make our boy's trek to school come to life, and the summary in verse at the end is a touch of genius and extra proof of the author's diverse talent. This is one book you won't regret reading to little ones, but even if there aren't any around, just go for it. You'll love it.
RUNAWAY SMILE is a charming account of a young boy who woke up one morning to find his smile was missing. He asks the dog if he has seen it. Of course, his dog hasn’t, so he asks the closet monster who is grumpy and hasn’t seen it either. He is so worried he is unable to eat his breakfast. On the way to school, he meets various other individuals and asks the same question, but no one has seen it – not the clown, not the worker, not a king, not his teacher.
At the day’s end, he heads home from school and crashes on the couch, exhausted from searching for his smile. His mother comforts him and tells him he has been searching in all the wrong places. She compassionately solves the mystery of her son’s missing smile.
The other characters in the book have some strange attributes. There is his dog that wears glasses and reads books, a closet monster that hides in the closet and eats clothes, and among others, a colorful salesman – the world’s best salesman. They each are busy with their own agendas, and not one takes the time to listen to the boy without a smile.
I found the book to be delightful, and full of very imaginative characters and a creative storyline. I think it would be best suited for elementary aged children. Do I recommend RUNAWAY SMILE? Why, of course!
By Nicholas C. Rossi
Illustrations by Domitris Fousekis
What would one do if awaking without a smile? This is exactly what happens to one little boy and throws him into a state of panic. How does one lose a smile anyway? This is what both the boy and his book-reading dog wonder. Life goes forward, and after looking everywhere, including the closet where the monster lives, he prepares to leave for school. Perhaps he'll find it along the way.
The determined little boy has some wild, funny and most unlikely experiences as he drags his back pack along, stacked high with books. He meets some eccentric characters along the way, including a clown with a painted on smile, an enthusiastic salesman and a king but none are willing to give him their smiles. In fact, the chaos causes them to lose their own smiles as well.
School is no better since his teacher never seems to have a smile either--just frowns. At the end of a most unbelievable day, the little boy is still without his smile. Will he ever find it? This eclectic tale for both children and adults, by author Nicholas C. Rossi is comical; filled with ridiculously hilarious situations that only children and adults who think like them could conjure up.
The illustrations are unique, and a bit confusing at times, except maybe to an imaginative child. It has a 'happily ever after' ending which all kids love and more than enough smiles to go around for all who read this well-crafted wacky, yet sentimental story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
And great simple pictures too, so this is why I gave it five stars.Read more