This week we've been reading a lovely new picture book called The Lost Smile by Joseph Coelho & Sheena Dempsey. It tells the story of a little boy called Kyle who is sad to see that all of his family - both of his parents and his sister - have lost their smiles. Pierre was most perturbed by this and wanted to know why but we never actually find out - we suggested lots of reasons though, including somebody being ill, losing their dog, getting divorced, not having any money or friends, so it was a great way of opening up a conversation about things that might make Pierre lose his smile, such as bullying or having problems making friends.
Kyle sets out on a mission to find his family's lost smiles, putting together a smile-hunter's kit and making lots of posters to put up around the house, the neighbourhood and even on the moon ! When his family see them, this makes them laugh again and they all live smilingly ever after.
I asked Pierre if he'd like to share a photo of his own smile, but it ended up more of a "can you see my new tooth?" picture ! Wrigley's Extra, who launched the book as part of their Smile Back Project, spoke to children and their parents about what makes them smile and it turns out that it’s still the simple pleasures in life that make our children smile. Forget technology - pulling silly faces (44%), reading stories (28%) and playing hide and seek (27%) remain the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child's face, according to the survey of 1,000 parents and children.
6,500 copies of The Lost Smile have been distributed free of charge through a Wrigley's Extra partnership with The Co-operative, reaching children in parts of the UK where rates of tooth decay among children is particularly high. The book is also available for £3.99 (RRP) and all funds raised through its sale (minimum £1 donation per book sold) will go towards supporting the work of Action for Children and the Oral Health Foundation. This will fund the creation of oral healthcare workshops for families across the UK, benefitting more than 10,000 children and 5,000 parents in its first year, and helping to keep a smile on everyone's face !
For information on how to protect your family’s smiles and how you can support the Smile Back Project through the purchase of The Lost Smile, visit www.smileback.wrigley.co.uk.
Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.