My Kyrosmagica Review of Nicholas Rossis’s Runaway Smile
“I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…”
A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones.
The title to this children’s book really intrigued me, Runaway Smile. How can a smile runaway? Nicholas did make this little boys smile runaway, but thankfully he returned it to him in the end!
It is a wonderful children’s book, an enthralling and heartwarming journey to search for one little boy’s lost smile. Nicholas introduces us to a whole host of eccentric characters. (What an imagination, Nicholas!!) The boy’s dog wears glasses, smokes a pipe, and drives a car but has lost his sense of smell, there’s a closet monster who eats all of the boy’s clothes, and even a bunch of surf boarding ants!
In his quest to find his smile the little boy talks to a bunch of characters who just can’t help him. There’s a workman walking his goldfish in a bowl on a small cart! Hey, I see this everyday too. Just regular workman kind of activity! A king with a wide smile. A salesman with an even wider one, and a clown with a painted on smile. I particularly liked the character of the salesman whose smile disappears, and ages, when he realises that he can’t sell the boy anything. “The salesman took a mirror from his pocket and stared at his image. All of a sudden he looked very old and tired, and the boy wondered how he could have missed the thinning hair, deep wrinkles, and expanding waistline.” That one’s for my husband he’s worked in Sales all his life and well let’s just say it’s tough. Being a Sales Manager, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!
I’m digressing here a bit. In desperation, the boy turns to his teacher hoping that she will be able to help him. But she doesn’t think that a classroom is the right place to keep a smile! So, by the time he gets home to his mum he is in tears and has given up hope of finding his smile. But of course his mother is the only person that can help him, because the only true smile that exists is a genuine one straight from the heart. The final reflection that greets the boy is not a false one like the salesman’s reflection. “The boys eyes opened wide. He ran to the mirror to check his reflection. She was right! A wide smile had finally appeared on his face!”
The secret to keeping his smile is to share it with those he loved. Absolutely. That’s the secret.
“She tussled his hair. Anything you give with love, multiplies. No-one can take it from you then.”
So the boy promptly goes off to share his smile with his dog. Of course!
The book finishes with a lovely Ode to a runaway smile.
So, definitely recommended, a very sweet book and lovely illustrations too.
Nicolas C. Rossis
From his About page on WordPress:
I was born in 1970 in Athens, Greece. I love books and write fantasy, children’s books and science fiction. Except for my books, I have had numerous science fiction short stories published in Greek magazines and in an anthology.
I hold a doctorate in digital architecture from the University of Edinburgh, where I lived for a number of years before returning to Athens, where I currently live with my wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is purring on my lap as I type these lines.
Runaway Smile is his first children’s book. Mad Water, the third book in his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, was published in July 2014. He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories.
Authors Website: http://nicholasrossis.me/
Free book for those following Nicholas’s Blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/12/07/my-first-childrens-book-runaway-smile/
Illustrator: Dimitris Fousekis
Dimitri Fouseki, is an artist of Greek origin who makes innovative illustrations. Since 2003 he has successfully focused on illustrating mainly children’s books. He already has numerous publications in Greece in this field (nine so far, with a number of further publications pending). Since 2010, Dimitri has been living on the beautiful island of Hydra, where he teaches art and works on his first major exhibition as a painter, when not illustrating.
Have you read Runaway Smile? Please comment below I’d love to hear from you, it certainly would put a smile on my face…
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx