Today happens to be World Smile Day. Doesn’t it make you smile just to hear that?! World Smile Day was created in 1999 by the inventor of that ever present Happy Face, Mr. Harvey Ball. He decided that the world should devote a day each year to sharing smiles and acts of kindness. 🙂
You can find out more about World Smile Day at their website HERE. 🙂 They have lots of fun stuff to do. 🙂
Walker and I did our part today by going to school and spreading our joy throughout the halls. We visited the office ladies and read with kids in the library.
I wish I could show you the big smiles on those kids faces! They know how to spread smiles and JOY! 🙂
We also visited with the 4th grade class of one of my favorite teachers – Ms Beauregard!
She is always very kind to us — sharing her banana chips. 😀 We picked out a couple of books to share with her kids. 🙂
My favorite was Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne. I have a real soft spot in my heart for Mr Browne’s work.
This book was published in 1991 by Dragonfly Books.
It is suitable for ages 5-9. Our 4th graders enjoyed it and My Mom Person, who is an adult, loves it!
Themes are friendship and kindness
Opening — Willy was lonely. Everyone seemed to have friends. Everyone except Willy.
Willy is a lonely little chimp with a very sad face. Wandering through the park, he passes lots of other apes who are playing and enjoying the day with their friends. Suddenly a huge ape, named Hugh Jape, (isn’t that GREAT!!) ran right SMACK into Willy. They were both quite startled and apologetic. And instantly became friends. When Willy’s nemesis, Buster Nose, tried to pick on Willy, Hugh stood up for his new friend. They went off together and had a fun day. They even visited the library where Willy read to Hugh. When Hugh was terrified by a spider, Willy moved the spider away. And they were friends happily ever after. 🙂
Mr Browne has a unique way of bringing apes to human-like life. Their expressions are full of emotion. There is lots of humor in his work. From funny names to funny details in his artwork. Willy and Hugh visit the zoo and the picture shows the two of them standing outside the cage with a human family sitting on a couch inside the cage. 🙂
The kids in Mrs B’s class were doing a project about feelings and being empathetic. We had to look that word up in the dictionary. It means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. My Mom Person puts me in her shoes sometimes. She thinks that’s funny. But to be kind to someone is to put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic. Willy and Hugh did that when they helped each other. 🙂 This is a great book to use as a jumping off point into a discussion about what it means to be a good friend. What are things that friends do for each other?
I hope that you go out and celebrate World Smile Day. It doesn’t take much. As Princess Reason in The Phantom Tollbooth says – “Whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way …. when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world … and whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond.”
To find out more about chimpanzees and how you can help with conservation visit the Jane Goodall Institute HERE.
Ms Barbara Gruener is a lady who is all about smiles and kindness. She is a counselor at a school in Friendswood, Tx. She recently took on a challenge to do one act of kindness each day for 21 days! And I’m just asking you to do one day! She did an interesting post on her blog the other day about filling buckets. The comments were what particularly caught my attention — all the ways that people spread kindness and joy. You might check it out at Ms Gruener’s blog, Corner on Character.
Here’s a little video of Willy and Hugh made by “the Legends”, the Year 1 class of Warren Hills Primary School in Coalville — this is FANTASTIC!!
Think of ways that you can spread some JOY today! Spread Smiley Faces around your personal world! Let me know about what happens! Just SMILE!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
And you might want to visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday and find more wonderful books and resources to go with them.