Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2002
A crocodile without a smile is not very happy! When Kyle the crocodile woke up one morning, his mother said, “Looks like you’ve lost your smile, Kyle. Why don’t you go out and play? You’ll soon find it again.” Off went Kyle through the jungle to look for his smile.
He first met Parrot, who screeched and squawked. All the other animals laughed, but Kyle couldn’t find his smile. Next he met Monkey, who made funny faces. The other animals laughed, but Kyle still couldn’t find his smile. Elephant told Kyle that he would cheer him up. He “blew big noisy bubbles in the water and squirted it everywhere.” Again, the other animals laughed and laughed, but still Kyle couldn’t find his smile.
As the crocodile plodded on, he met lonely Little Lion Cub sitting on a termite hill. The cub said that he had lost his way home. Kyle said that he had lost his smile. “Shall we look for them together?” suggested Kyle. As they searched, Kyle screeched and squawked, made funny faces, and blew big noisy bubbles in the water. Soon, Little Lion Cub felt better, and then he realized that he’d found his way home. Thanking Kyle, he noticed that the young crocodile had found his smile. “Where is it?” asked Kyle. “Back on your face,” laughed Little Lion Cub, “where it belongs!”
The author has contributed to a variety of magazines such as the Sesame Street publications. Her many books include Tiggy Tiger, An Ark Full of Recipes, and An Ark Full of Activities. Illustrator Julian portrays Kyle’s sadness and the concern of the other animals through his paintings, which are bright and bold and capture the reader’s attention from beginning to end. The words and illustrations combine to draw the reader into the story. This delightful tale is an excellent stepping-stone for discussions about helping others and the joy that can be found in doing so.