Smile / Cry by Tania McCartney & Jess Racklyeft

It's Toddler Book Talk Tuesday and today I want to talk about emotions. While most of you have never really seen me smile, I do. If you lived in my household you can even hear my screams of laughter while I run around the house. I've also been on the other end of the spectrum as well where you would hear my cries. My cries of sorrow because someone ate the last of fruit snack without my permission or my I just fell and hurt myself cry. So I bet you're wondering, what does my emotion have to do with a book? Well, what better way to introduce you to today's book, Smile / Cry: Happy or sad, wailing or glad - how do you feel today? by authors Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft. The famous quote "How much do I love you? Let me count the ways." is reminiscent throughout this book. How many ways can you smile or cry? Well let me share the ways.


Smile / Cry is not your typical run of the mill book but is a rather unique flip over picture book (with words and beautifully colored illustrations) that you can read from either front or back. You get to follow three darling characters in the book - cat, piglet and bunny - as they react to the various situations going on in their life. While I've never thought of the different ways that we can smile or cry, this book brings it to the forefront.


Smile/Cry format as I mentioned before is not your typical flip book. The Smile story reads from front to back while the Cry story reads from back to front. While I've never before thought of my emotions besides I smile when I'm happy or I cry when I'm sad, Smile/Cry is a great way to get kids to identify their emotions. For example in the book you get to see "I didn't mean it cry" or the "this is going to be good smile". The "tickle smile" is most certainly different from the "goodbye cry". However they all come together with a most delightful "Or maybe, just maybe, it's... a wrapped in a cuddle smile/cry".


Smile/Cry is one of those books that would get you thinking. While I didn't think that there were so many different smiles or cries, it was good to know that there is one for so many different things. It's also a book about friendship. We see how close Cat, Piglet and Bunny are and how they share in each other's joy and sorrow. Parents and kids can engage in this delightful book. This book is recommended for ages 3+ and is perfect for those precocious toddlers and pre-schoolers. After all how many ways did you think you could smile/cry. I can now think of a few more. What about the my big brother never lets me play with his toys cry? Or even the I can't believe I got to eat candy and it's not Halloween smile? There are so many way. I couldn't begin to praise Smile/Cry enough and it's why it gets my TWO TINY THUMBS UP!


Let's discuss: How many different ways can you smile or cry, have you thought about it?