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The Children's Bookshelf: Sharing a Smile

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This is the Children’s Bookshelf and I’m Sue Ann Martin

Sharing a Smile written by Nicki Kramar and illustrated by Ashley Evans is a story about how one little girl named Sophie, with the help of her Grandpa, was able to overcome her hesitancy about wearing a mask when going outside while also helping a friend.

One morning Sophie looks out her window and notices Mr. Landon wearing a mask as he works in his garden, the mail carrier wearing a mask when delivering the mail, Ms. Diaz wearing a mask while watching butterflies and Jacob and Abigail wearing their masks while riding their bikes.  She also notices that her friend Jenny, who lives across the street and is peering out her window with her stuffed lion, looks scared. She decides to do something about this and enlists her grandpa’s help. “It can be hard to be brave when things change,” he tells her as they get busy.

With grandpa on the sewing machine and Sophie at her drawing table they are a great team! Sophie designs the pictures for the masks and grandpa sews them all together. They make masks with flowers on it for Mr. Landon, butterflies for Ms. Diaz and bike wheels for Jacob and Abigail. Jenny’s mask even has drawings of her stuffed lion!

The next day Sophie and her Grandpa bravely wearing masks hand out their special gifts to their neighbors who then mask up and have fun outdoors walking, jumping rope, and waving hello!  

SHARING A SMILE written by Nicki Kramar and illustrated by Ashley Evans is a gentle reminder that friends are important and kindness is powerful. It is perfect for children 4-7 years of age (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and activity questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for Sharing a Smile

If you were to design a mask for each member of your family what would that mask look like? To get a start think about their hobbies, their jobs, their favorite books, their favorite colors, their favorite sport, and their favorite foods. Now, get some colorful markers and blank pieces of paper and start drawing your designs. Share them with your family.

Sophie and her Grandpa knew their neighbors well. Can you make a list of some of the people in your neighborhood? Ask your mother or father to help.

Sophie’s Grandpa tells her, “It is hard to be brave when things change.” What does he mean by that? Have you ever had to be brave when something changed in your like such as going to a new school, getting sick, having a new teacher, needing to help more at home or helping to take care of a new sister or brother? Think about the change and how you felt at first. Did you finally feel brave?

Judy joined WCMU's staff in December 2018. As producer and host of “Afternoon Classical Music,” she wants to share her life-long love of classical music with listeners, and have some fun along the way! She is also the producer of “Central Stage.”