Bilingual Book Review: Augustus and his Smile

Augustus and his Smile
Written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
Ages 2-6
Format: Paperback
Review by Maureen Pugh

“Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile.” So begins an epic quest as Augustus searches for his lost smile. His search takes him under bushes, up to the treetops, and to the crests of the highest mountains. He finds a beetle, chirping birds, and swirling snow clouds, but no smile.

As his journey progresses, however, Augustus’ expression gradually begins to change. His pleasure becomes evident as he swims in the oceans and “splishes and splashes with shoals of tiny, shiny fish.” His long tail also begins arching in a smile to match the one on his face. Suddenly he is prancing and parading in a desert, dancing and racing in raindrops, and splashing through puddles. Then he finds it – in the reflection of a “huge silver-blue puddle” – his smile!
Augustus comes to realize that he carries his smile with him, “whenever he (is) happy”. His journey teaches him that he only has to do the things that please him, like swim or dance or look around him at the world “for happiness (is) everywhere around him.”

For Augustus and his Smile, award-winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner spent hours observing and sketching tigers at the Edinburgh Zoo. Her talent and attention to detail are evident as we watch this boldly-drawn tiger move through his various poses. Children will appreciate both this story’s message as well as the illustrations of Augustus.

The last page of the book lists some “amazing tiger facts” and notes their endangered status.

Augustus and his Smile is available in English with Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Czech, Farsi, French, Haitian-Creole, Hindi, Irish, Lithuanian, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese and Welsh.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, please visit the Augustus and His Smile webpage at http://www.languagelizard.com/Augustus_and_His_Smile_p/aug.htm.

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