Review Blog

Nov 13 2014

Augustus and his smile by Catherine Rayner

cover image

Little Tiger Press, 2006. ISBN 9781845062835
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Tigers. Happiness. Perseverance. Award winning Rayner has done it again in this wonderful tale of a tiger searching for his smile. On waking the tiger finds he has lost his smile and so goes off to look for it. He searches high and low, the birds in the trees, the insects amongst the leaves on the ground, the fish in the sea, the sand in the desert, until finally it rains. The incessant rain fills puddles in the earth and at last he can see that he has a smile, and so is happy.
He has wandered across deserts and mountain ranges, across forests and seas, seen a multitude of animals, birds and fish, to find that it is all of these which make him happy. And he realises that happiness is everywhere.
A wide reaching tale of finding happiness wherever you are, reading this with children will fill their heads with delight as they see the scope of amazing things in our world, and marvel with the tiger as he finds that happiness is all around.
The illustrations with the swatches of colour overlaid with black ink representing the tiger and its stripes, are stunning. The tiger stalks across every page, sometimes partly hidden by the forest, sometimes climbing across a jagged mountain range, sometimes swimming with the fish. Rayner drew her tiger after watching and sketching the tigers at the Edinburgh Zoo, and this first hand experience is obvious to the reader as they delight in the different poses struck by the tiger on turning the pages.
At the end is information about the Siberian Tiger, an animal in danger through loss of habitat, and addresses are given for children to find out more information.
Fran Knight

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