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The Lost Smile

October, 2020 Dixi Books

When Zaytoon wakes up feeling sad, she goes on a search to find her smile. From the kitchen to the garden, Zaytoon searches high and low to eventually discover her smile - smiling from her reflection in the window!

The Lost Smile is a beautifully illustrated and colourful picture book demonstrating the importance of accepting emotions. Zaytoon's journey shows children that it's okay to be sad and reassures young readers that sadness can be temporary.

Themes of cultural diversity, emotional intelligence, family life and the importance of connecting with nature and animals make this a perfect book for our times.

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The Lost Smile : Recent Books

A deeply important story for all children. The Lost Smile provides the perfect platform to explore the reality of emotions, build self-awareness, foster self-care and human connection.

Sonia Bestulic, Author, Founder of Talking Heads Speech Pathology, Podcaster of Chatabout Children with Sonia Bestulic

Have you ever woken up feeling a little wobbly and blue and just not known what to do? Young Zaytoon wakes feeling sad one morning and realises her smile is gone.

A timely and pivotal narrative for young children. The Lost Smile shines a light on the emotion of sadness and the premise that while our feelings can be formidable, they are often also fleeting.

Many children, especially in 2020 will be able to connect with Zaytoon and her search around her house to recover her smile from its hiding place. Sweet, bright illustrations celebrate the warmth and joy to be found from a home. A treasured relationship between Zaytoon and her grandmother is another special reason The Lost Smile would be an important resource for any early childhood classroom.

A beautiful story to discuss resilience and the importance of reaching out to others and asking for help on stormy days.

My seven year old daughter says, "I like that Zaytoon never gives up looking for her smile."

Maryanne, Primary School Teacher

Faith, and the comfort of a loving grandmother, brings happiness to a little girl in despair, longing to find her lost smile in amongst a glum and gloomy mood.

For children lucky enough to share a bond with their grandparents, this book would be the ideal treasure for inspiring the creation of, and remembering, special moments – the cuddles, the book on the knee, the way grandparents have that certain knack for ‘turning little frowns upside down’ and generating a loving warmth and glow from within.

And The Lost Smile does just that. Young Zaytoon’s search around the house for her missing smile is unhelpfully unaided by her family members – even the animals sense this feeling of loss. A little taste of fruit and nature might just be the pick-me-up she needs. But it is until Zaytoon is wrapped in her grandmother Dadi’s tender embrace does the little girl feel a renewed hope, until her Dadi hums her a sweet melody does her energy rejuvenate, and the light outside brings out the light from within.

A tender and playfully told story with a soothing, pastel-tone colour palette and kind, affable illustrations. The Lost Smile is a refreshing reminder that in times of feeling misguided or lost, sometimes all we need is a little reflection, and a warm, gentle hug.

Romi Sharp, Just Write For Kids Australia

The Lost Smile is a charming picture book about a young girl Zaytoon learning to deal with feeling sad and blue. On first read, this story reminds me of Jedda Robaard's Little Creatures series. Robaard's series also touches on themes of identity but in this picture book for older readers, author Nadia King explores these issues with more nuance.

The story has a gentle message -  everyone feels sad sometimes, Zaytoon's ability to overcome her sadness is inside her as she turns to her family and her home for comfort. 

The words are made richer by the gorgeous illustrations of artist Nelli Aghekyan. I liked the stylised character designs of Zaytoon's family, especially Dadi who looks like she belongs in a hand drawn animated film. The environment is filled with textural detail which you generally don't find in younger picture books. 

This is an ideal picture book to snuggle up to with your kids (or if you're like me, just to enjoy on your own!)

Marianna Shek
Writer, Reader

The Lost Smile is a gorgeous story of family and adventure.

This book reminds us it’s okay to explore our feelings, as Zaytoon searches for her lost smile!

Imani the Author

The Lost Smile : Testimonials
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