Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite

Smudges is a heartwarming children's picture book written by Lauren Emerson and illustrated by Kim Soderberg. The story follows Haley, a girl who is struggling to find what makes her unique. Her teacher, Mr. Hart, asks the class to think of something that distinguishes them from their peers. While everyone else quickly comes up with their own answers, Haley is left staring at a blank page. She feels insecure as she watches her classmates excitedly write down their unique traits. Despite her attempts to draw, write, and talk to her friends and teacher, nothing comes to mind. But, Haley eventually takes a break and sees something that helps her realize what makes her special has been right in front of her all along.

Smudges is a delightful book that inspires children to embrace their individuality and celebrate differences. It encourages self-reflection and self-acceptance, reminding children that they are all special. Lauren Emerson effectively conveys the book's message, making it easy for children to understand and resonate with the characters. Haley is a charming character whose interactions with her classmates make her relatable and engaging. The interactions between Haley and her peers add depth to the story and make for an interesting read. Additionally, the vibrant illustrations complement the narrative and make it visually appealing. The book also includes an interactive discussion activity section that young readers can enjoy with their family and friends. Overall, Smudges is an entertaining and inspiring story that I highly recommend adding to your children's reading list.

Pikasho Deka

Find out what makes you unique with this fun-filled children's picture book by Lauren Emerson, featuring illustrations by Kim Soderberg. Haley loves to doodle and write imaginative stories and jokes. But when Mr. Hart gives the class a writing assignment, asking students to write about themselves and what makes them unique, Haley draws a blank. While some write about their colorful glasses, others reveal they are bilingual, have red hair, have different ancestry, etc. However, try as she might, Haley just can't figure out what makes her unique. It is when she looks at her drawing that Haley finds her specialty. Read Smudges to find out what makes Haley unique and learn something about yourself along the way.

All of us have some inherent quality that makes us special and unique and this is beautifully shown in Smudges. Author Lauren Emerson tells a wholesome tale about diversity that showcases how embracing our differences only makes for a more fun and happier environment wherever we are. The characters in this story are immensely likable and relatable to real-life kids in schools. Young readers will find a lot to like about Haley, an adorable and talented child who has to figure out her own distinctive qualities. Illustrator Kim Soderberg's artwork meshes brilliantly with Emerson's storytelling style. The lively illustrations will help children connect to the characters, as they make the story so much more immersive. I really enjoyed the humor, as well as the underlying message. Highly recommended.

Samantha Gregory

Smudges by Lauren Emerson tells the story of Haley, a young girl who loves to draw and write. Unfortunately, every time she does, Haley leaves smudges on her notebook and her hand. This is because Haley is left-handed. In class, the teacher gives an assignment - each student must decorate a puzzle piece to show how they are unique. For the first time, Haley cannot think of what to write. As she struggles to figure out what makes her unique, she finally realizes that being left-handed makes her unique. She has to use special scissors and other utensils. While the smudges bother her at first, it does not take away from her creativity.

Lauren Emerson has written an interesting and thought-provoking book with Smudges. This is great for kids who may be feeling different in some way in their class at school. We are all different and it is important to celebrate that. Haley is a great character who struggles a bit when she cannot think of an answer for the assignment. The story is easy to understand and I loved the questions included at the end which ask the child reader to really think about the story and what it means. Kim Soderberg has created some wonderful, brightly colored pictures to accompany the story. I think this book would be a great addition for slightly older children in the 6-9-year age range. This is the time when they may start noticing the differences in themselves and this book can encourage them to talk about it. I would definitely recommend this book.