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“Readers will devour this fresh, honest story of self-discovery.” - Amazon.com, What We're Reading, April 2000

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The Girl Who Lost Her Smile
Written by Karim Alrawi
Illustrated by Stefan Czernecki


The Horn Book Guide, 4/1/2001
“When a young girl in Baghdad stops smiling, the sun stops shining, so her father, the townspeople, and a hoopoe bird try their best to find something that will amuse her, to no avail. . . . the simple illustrations, which use flat color and a bold, clean line, are lively and interesting.”


The New York Times Book Review, 1/11/2001
“Because of their roots in oral tradition, folk tales make good read-aloud stories, as Karim Alrawi shows with ‘The Girl Who Lost Her Smile.' Based on the works of Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet, ‘The Girl Who Lost Her Smile' tells the story of Jehan, who wakes up sad one morning and turns a city gray because only her smile can bring out the sun. So a hoopoe, a wise bird who consults with Jehan's father, sets off in search of someone who can produce a smile. . . . Stefan Czernecki's pictures sparkle. His simple, precise strokes set the tone of a fairy tale, and his colorful hoopoe is an inviting and memorable guide. Just as important, his colors perfectly capture changing moods . . . In their elegant simplicity, the pictures carry the story.”


Booklist, 11/1/2000
"Inspired by the Sufi poet Rumi, this elegant, unusual story begins when Jehan wakes up one morning in Baghdad and cannot find her smile. ...In airbrushed colors, the illustrations are combinations of geometric forms: Jehan's head is a circle and her lips a perfect ruby heart. Persian windows, Jehan's turbaned father, and the gaudily crested hoopoe evoke the locale."



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