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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever had one of those days when you just didn’t feel like smiling? When your smile never appeared? Have you ever wondered why? Jasper Cat usually has a big smile, but one morning he wakes up and feels quite different. Unsure of what could be wrong, he looks in the mirror and discovers his smile is missing. He spends most of the day looking for his smile – he looks everywhere, even under his bed. He finds all kinds of discarded items: a book, a coin, mismatched socks, and missing tee shirts. After all is put in order, he still isn’t smiling. But then he learns that Rosinda Rabbit is missing. His lost smile forgotten, he joins his friends as they look for the missing rabbit.
Julia Stebbing’s picture book story, The Lost Smile, is a treasure to read. It’s all about friendship and self-esteem and how something so simple like a smile can make a person feel whole. Jasper Cat certainly feels incomplete without his smile. The story is told in rhyming verse with a lyrical quality to it. The illustrations are beautiful and certainly help carry the story along. There’s a little bit of humor, too, as Jasper Cat and his friends end up tidying his room while looking for the missing smile. And the value of friendship is strongly presented. Not only do Jasper Cat’s friends come together to help look for his smile, but Jasper Cat and his friends help look for the missing Rosinda Rabbit. Those who work together stay together. And, in the end, does Jasper Cat find his smile after a do-good kind of day? Read the story to find out. Beautifully told.