Early Book Review: Willow’s Smile by Lana Button and Tania Howells

Willow’s Smile is a picturebok written by Lana Button and illustrated by Tania Howells. It is currently scheduled for release on April 5 2016. Sometimes Willow smiled without even trying. But sometimes when she wished she could and knew she should, her smile slipped straight off her face. So when her teacher tells the class that Picture Day is coming, shy Willow starts to worry. What if she isn't able to smile for the camera? How can she have her picture taken without smiling? But then on Picture Day, Willow gets the opportunity to watch the other children being photographed. She sees that all of her friends' expressions are unique, and perfect in their own way. And by the time it's her turn, she's realized that she doesn't need to worry about smiling for her picture. She just needs to be herself.
Willow’s Smile is a picturebook that captures the worries children might have come picture day, and that the adults reading along might have when it comes time for pictures as well. Giving the perfect smile when it is time is not always easy, and many of the children in the book are worried about it in their own way. I like that the story gives Willow the chance to see that she is not alone in her worries, and to help those around her. The illustrations are charmingly simple and capture the expressions and moods of the characters as they change through out the story.


Willow’s Smile is a perfect book for sharing with a child, or class, before picture day or any event that promises plenty of picture taking. It can both offer assurances and coping methods for those that are worried about how they will look in pictures, and what makes a perfect picture. It could even act as a conversation starter about those concerns, what makes a good picture, and why we take the pictures.

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