Synopses & Reviews
Birdy starts every day by smiling at herself in the mirror. She says you can smile while doing just about anything--brushing your teeth, taking out the garbage, or eating broccoli. Okay, maybe not while eating broccoli. Even people with bad teeth (like our first president, George Washington) should show their toothy grins because theres no such thing as a bad smile. So heed Birdys advice and practice your smile—youll need it while reading this book!
"In this cheerful advice manual, a redheaded optimist explains her philosophy. 'I think the first person you see each day should look happy to see you,' says Birdy, waving at herself in her bedroom mirror. She muses on the expression 'say, Ã¢Â€Â˜cheese!' ' and when she attempts to let a smile be her umbrella, she gets drenched ('So I made up a new saying--Ã¢Â€Â˜Let an umbrella be your umbrella' '). Yet Birdy is no Pollyanna. She lists things one can try while smiling, such as 'climb a tree' and 'stand on your head,' and when someone adds 'eat broccoli' to her list, she chides the unseen contributor. And while Birdy enjoys being silly, she is not sugar-sweet: 'My smile knows when to leave me alone... and when to come back.' Keller's (Do Unto Otters) goofy, buoyant cartoons, underscored with curlicue display type, set an upbeat tone that's in keeping with Birdy's attitude. A flexible mirror embedded on the closing page, 'so you can practice your smiling, too,' gives instant confirmation of whether Birdy's advice has hit its mark. Ages 5 8. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“Its hard not to smile at the encouraging thoughts and enthusiastic pictures throughout the book.”--School Library Journal
"The collaged illustrations are bold and textured and occupy white space in Keller's characteristically exuberant style.” --Kirkus Reviews
“Keller's (Do Unto Otters) goofy, buoyant cartoons, underscored with curlicue display type, set an upbeat tone that's in keeping with Birdy's attitude.” --Publishers Weekly
“Birdys Smile Book is fun to read any time, but it is especially helpful if you have a little one that doesnt feel like smiling. If the cute, happy story doesnt get them smiling then the fun mirror in the back where you can practice smiling will put a grin on even the grumpiest of faces." --Peekaboo Picks
Birdy starts every day by smiling at herself in the mirror. This fun picture book includes a mirror so kids can practice their own smiles. Full color.
About the Author
is the acclaimed author-illustrator of Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, The Scrambled States of America
, and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
, among numerous others. She grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, and always loved to draw, paint and write stories. She earned a B.F.A. at Kendall College of Art and Design, then worked at Hallmark as a greeting card illustrator for seven-and-a-half years, until one night she got an idea for a childrens book. She quit her job, moved to New York City, and soon had published her first book. She loved living in New York, but she has now returned to her home state, where she lives in a little cottage in the woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Reading Group Guide
When Youre Smiling the Whole World Smiles with You!
Birdy says that smiles are contagious. When you smile at someone, that person is sure to smile at someone, who will smile at someone, who will smile at someone, until your smile spreads across the whole world—even as far as Timbuktu!
Begin this activity by brainstorming with children and listing as many fairy-tale and folktale characters as you can. Encourage children to look through collections of tales for ideas. Be sure to include the mean and dastardly characters as well as the nice ones.
Next, color-code the characters (using highlighters or round colored labels): yellow for those most likely to smile and purple for those most likely to frown. If you have plenty of time, ask kids to draw a picture of their favorite character (including a smile or a frown on his or her face).
Now draw a very large circle on chart paper or, if you have plenty of room, make a large circle with removable tape on the rug or floor.
Then create a "smile circle" in which you begin by attaching the name or picture of a nice, friendly character, such as Little Red Riding Hood, at the 12:00 position on the circle, followed by an evil or unhappy character, such as the Wolf, alternating all the way around the circle. Invite kids to add a sentence for each character in turn. For example:
Little Red Riding Hood smiled at the Wolf.
The Wolf smiled at Granny (and didnt eat her).
Granny smiled at the Troll.
The Troll smiled at the Three Billy Goats Gruff (and didnt knock them off of the bridge).
If you are using pictures of the characters, make the whole activity even more fun by having a package of smiling-lips stickers on hand to affix to each character.
My Favorite Place to Smile!
Everyone has at least one place that they love to be, whether in their own home, a home of a person they love to visit, or a special place they have only visited once or twice. Ask each child to think of the place that brings the biggest smile of all to his or her face. Ask them to bring a smiling photo of themselves from home. Cut out the childs image and glue it to a large sheet of paper. Now ask children to draw in the background of their favorite smiling place.
You Can Smile When You Do ANYTHING
Birdy makes a list of ten things you can do and smile while doing them. Someone sneaks in an eleventh thing (“Eat broccoli”) that Birdy is sure you CANNOT smile about. Challenge students to create their own list of ten things you can do while smiling and one thing that makes smiling impossible.
Birdy claims that smiles are contagious. Ask your students to give examples from their own experience of smiles spreading from one person to another. Next, challenge students to keep a smile log where they record each instance in which they smile at someone in an effort to gain a smile in return. Award a smile sticker or bookmark to the top smile-winner each day.