Blog Tour: Where Is My Smile? – Natalie Reeves Billing

*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the authors, Tiny Tree Books and Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: A beautifully illustrated picture book about mental health for young readers. Where Is My Smile? is the story of a little boy who can’t find his smile anywhere. He searches and searches, but it’s nowhere to be found. Where could his smile be?

This delightful picture book is perfect as a bedtime story, and to help little children understand that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, but we can always find our way through it.

Where Is My Smile? is the first in a new series of picture books from Natalie Reeves Billing focused on children’s mental health.

This is a very simple, repetitive story, which is an ideal way to discuss feelings of sadness with young children in a way that they can understand and relate to.

The little boy repeats ‘Where is my smile?’ on every page, as he wanders around his house searching for it under beds and in the dog’s fur. While looking, he passes the other members of his family – mum, new baby, sister, dad and the dog – but they are all absorbed in their own stresses and don’t notice his predicament… until he finally breaks the ice and tells them what is wrong directly!

It is quite sad to see him becoming more distressed as the story goes, but the happy ending proves to him, and to little readers who may be feeling the same, that those feelings of sadness don’t last forever, especially if you share them with people who love you.

Minishine (9) was very interested in the first-person narration of the story, and in discussing ideas for how you can help yourself or find help when you feel sad, but Babybows (6) really engaged with the main character and his woes and became quite upset at his struggle and then was elated at the happy ending! So, I would say this book would be ideal for his age and younger, as a stepping stone to discussing things like how change might make us feel, or how everyone sometimes has feelings of sadness.

Here is what my mini-reviewers had to say:

Minishine: I love the pictures in this book! I think the little boy is funny because he needs to think thoughts that are more reasonable – there are no frown monsters! When you feel sad you should do something to make you feel happy, like play with your dog, or hug your family, or play with your toys or listen to your favourite song. I liked the older sister and the baby and the dog best, and I really wish I knew what all their names are?

Me: They don’t really have names. It’s a ‘first-person’ story so the little boy is telling it as ‘I did this; I felt this.’

Minishine [relentlessly]: I bet the baby would have a really sweet name though! It looks so sweet! And I wonder if the older sister has a name like me or my friends?!

Babybows: He doesn’t need a name because he is you when you are reading the book. And so it was really good but kind of sad too. The little boy is cute and he was feeling sad cos he lost his smile, cos everyone was sad, I think cos of the baby, cos babies are loud and have smelly nappies. But then it is happy at the end and I have a hat like his! I think you should tell your grown-ups if you feel sad cos they might make you laugh. Or your sister, maybe, if she’s not the one making you feel sad…! 😉

Minishine: Hey!!!

About the Author

Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a wicked sense of humour. She writes fantastical stories for young audiences and dabbles in poetry and fiction. Natalie enjoys map making, pranking people, and munching on jelly beans. She lives in an old farmhouse in Merseyside with her husband, children, and fluffy dog, Scoobs.

Natalie is a fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs and member of The Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, and Liverpool Editing Company. She is published in several anthologies with poetry and short stories, including Writing on the Wall and 8N Publishing USA.

She is developing an animated series and delivering workshops across Merseyside.





Where Is My Smile? is available on Amazon right now!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour for more great reviews and content (see the poster below for details)!


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