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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

Smile Sophia


We often hear well-meaning strangers making “oohs” and “ahhs” at children expecting them to give a big cheeky smile in return. But… some of them don’t want to smile. This book deserves extensive high fives as it is dedicated to “all the girls who only smile when they want to.”


Sophia goes through her day, doing lots of home and school activities enduring with comments asking her to smile. She is passionate about dinosaurs and has only one thing in mind - dinosaur bones. She remains steadfast and strong in her belief by staying true to herself and what she feels is important, in spite of people’s expectations. She chooses to save her smiles for her authentic dinosaur discoveries.


This witty, luminous tale will put smiles on every teacher, librarian and the best part of all, it can be a talking point about body autonomy. When we force our kids to smile, we are letting them know that they aren't okay as they are. We are also telling them that achieving something difficult and feeling proud isn't justifiable - instead they should be looking happy with their big smiles - (what a preposterous demand to put on children). The attractive part of the book is the back matter; it has fascinating facts and details that enhances the text for all those future palaeontologists out there. Hooray for this feminist picture book which is a must-have for home, school, and libraries!

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