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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Little Joe Smileyhead is a children’s picture book by Lexi Kinney with full-color illustrations by Marinella Aguirre. Little Joe is a happy three-year-old child who rises early in the morning, eager to help his parents with their chores. However, his parents become frustrated as he gets a bucket stuck on his head and is covered in flour from cakemaking, noodles from his lunch, leaves from a leaf pile, and water from a hose. Little Joe doesn’t understand why his parents get mad at these things when he only wants to help. At the end of the day, after he’s bathed himself and gotten into bed, Mom and Dad kiss their adorable sleepyhead son goodnight and they, too, wonder why they ever got angry.
In Little Joe Smileyhead, Kinney gives children a fun adventure in the virtue of being helpful, and she gives parents a gentle prod about patience. Written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated, the story will have children laughing at what they see ending up on Little Joe’s head as he moves from chore to chore and parent to parent in his quest to be helpful. For adults who read this charming story to or with their children, it’s a reminder that flour, noodles, leaves, and especially bubbles will all wash away. What’s important is to help your children grow both in happiness and helpfulness. Appreciate their desire to help with chores and encourage them to take on tasks with greater independence, even if it means a little more work for you in the end. Another delightful read from this author.