Cover Image: A Smile in Your Pocket

A Smile in Your Pocket

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Member Reviews

This is a lovely little book, which helps children who are going through changes in their life which are causing them anxiety and stress. The story is about Miles, a boy who is feeling anxious, and how he learns to cope and feel better with the help from his family and his teacher.

There are beautiful images in the book, and the text is easy to read. There is also a section with some tips and techniques at the end of the book from a clinical psychologist.

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it highly.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book.

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A good about how a young boy learns to learn with with COVID related protocol and how to overcome a tough day. I like the idea of this book but think it would have been better in 2020. A little too depressing in my opinion.

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I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review.

This is a rhyming story about a young boy on a dreary day. On his way to school he notices adults acting less happy than normal and then he gets to school to find new rules in the classroom. The rules are clearly for cold and flu season (or Covid maybe), but Miles is so young he doesn't understand that (not that the teacher really explains it either). The teacher's solution to Miles' gloomy demeanor is to give him a smile to carry in his pocket. So then he makes smiles to hand out to all the gloomy adults he saw on the way to school.

The illustrations were colorful and bright showing the different people Miles was interacting with through the day. It was cute enough that I'd be okay reading it a few times, but I wouldn't want to read it too terribly often.

Overall I give this book 3.8 out of 5 stars.

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Thanks to NetGalley and its author for providing me with an advanced c0py

a boy who doesn't understand the way to live good enough. Thus, he's to change his way to think about life and how to live better after COVID.


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I came across this one while looking for books for my niece. I think the main lesson in this book is great. Children don't always understand change, why it's important, and how to deal with it.

However, the way they articulated this lesson was through unnecessary and harmful covid policies. Ones that hurt our children and weren't actually good. So I will not be purchasing this book for her.

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Thank you NetGalley and Baker & Taylor, Paw Prints Publishing for accepting my request to read and review A Smile in Your Pocket.

Author: Jarrod Zayas
Published: 09/06/22
Genre: Children's Fiction

Being creatures of habit, schedules and routines decrease our stress. Likewise, changing these things will quickly raise our stress levels.

The author through his education (available at the end of the book), muted illustrations, and carefully chosen stressors in a 3-7 year old's life gives advice on how to ease the anxiety which leads to being unhappy. A smiley face drawn to fit in your pocket can change so much.

Miles doesn't like the new rules. The changes stress and confuse him. The smiley face in his pocket, carefully explained, can help him cope. COVID changed a lot of things for young Miles.

While I surmise COVID aided in the making of the book, children of all ages need coping tips in day-to-day living.

This is giftable to families, Church nurseries, bible study groups, and, teachers. For the babysitters handbook, there are great how-to handle tips.

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A book about the pandemic.
We have a child who no longer sees smiles, stops being able to play with his friends, and who has to keep his distance.
I liked it, it was the first book on the subject that I saw, and I think it explains to children that everything is going to be fine, and that this distancing is for their safety.

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Smile in Your Pocket by Jarrod Zayas put a smile on my face.

The story addresses how changes to routines can make us stressed and sad. Miles is dealing with this uneasiness as he senses the adults in his life are worried. Miles doesn’t like the gray day, new rules, or the feelings brought on by change.

Thanks to an observant, caring teacher, he learns that changes affect everyone. She teaches him a trick to lift his spirits and he happily shares this solution with everyone he meets.

The book provides a much needed introduction for little ones to recognize feelings, sadness, and coping.

The illustrations are well done and greatly enhance the story. There are many learning opportunities to be discussed by looking at the pictures. I like the diversity of the characters represented in the book.

Dr Kaia Calbeck, a clinical psychologist, provides a summary at the end of the book about how to help children deal with the anxiety of a change and a nice set of pointers to help adults get discussions started.

4.5/5.0 (The cadence was occasionally off while reading this book aloud.)

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A Smile in Your Pocket is a really great book for kids. This teaches them how to deal with change and adjusting to them. I just wish there were more simpler words for anxiety.
The illustrations were colorful and pretty!

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This book is a wonderful resource for children in today's world. Anxieties are so much higher with COVID and all the changes children have to face. The book is written in verse which great for young children, but I wish the rhythm was more consistent. I found myself getting hung up on certain sentences throughout the story.

I also wish there was a little more explanation for words young children won't understand such as anxiety, unease and stressed. A book character their age experiencing these big, confusing emotions is so needed because children don't understand what they are feeling. To describe them using big adult words makes the story less relatable than I would like. With that said, I love that the author shows how the young boy's mood changes and how the big feelings affect his behavior and attitude.

I also love the resources at the end of the book to help children with change and anxiety. Overall, I think this would be a great addition to any classroom, counselor's office, or home with young children.

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.

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Author Jarrod Zayas worked with a child therapist to develop and write A Smile in Your Pocket. This story brings an expert's perspective along with cute illustrations and easy to read text to tell the tale of big feelings that might bring us down. A powerful tale about how to overcome negative emotions and how positive thinking can be a great coping strategy when anxiety and sadness get overwhelming.

Mile wakes up and the whole day seems gloomy, but why? He is having a hard time processing why this day feels so different than all the others. Things in his community seem different. Even school sends him into a tailspin of anxiety. His observant teacher, Ms. Franklin, notices that Miles is struggling and teaches him about how to handle these big feelings and worries. Miles learns that change happens and it is okay. Embracing change with a positive attitude and a smile can make things turn out much better in the long run. He also learned about bringing happiness to others by sharing smiles.

This story was both entertaining and educational, which can be a tricky balance to maintain in a children’s book, and I will be suggesting it to teachers whenever possible. Incorporating social-emotional skills and topics such as this into children's picture books is a tried and true way to teach an important life skill in a way that is fun. This would be an amazing addition for classroom libraries, counselling offices and more.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Paw Prints for the opportunity to read and review this book.

This is the perfect book for children and adults. A lot of children don’t understand what anxiety or stress is exactly. They may not know how to put into words how they are feeling. This book, and many others like it, can help so much. I believe A Smile in Your Pocket needs to be in all school libraries and read to children, in a classroom setting. Even with their parents, so if the kids have questions the Parents can answer them.

I have many friends who I will recommend this book to.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This was a great book for any teacher wanting to build up their social-emotional learning resource library! The story was relatable to children and the extension activity at the back of the book will help drive a lesson. This is also a great choice for parents who want to help their children learn to deal with stress and anxiety.

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A good story to teach children that while change may be scary it is not necessarily bad.

I loved the idea of putting drawn smiles in your pocket to give others when you don’t feel like smiling. This book and the subsequent craft of making smiles are going to be great with my grandkids. I only wish this had been published two years ago when children were wearing masks to school, and their smiles could not be seen.

I received an ARC from Paw Prints Publishing through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do s

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Thank you so much Baker and Taylor / Paw Prints Publishing and Netgalley for the ebook to read and review.

Miles is sad and anxious, things in his everyday life have changed and people seem sadder now. Then he gets to school and his anxiety peaks as there are new classroom rules he has to follow.

This was seriously such a sad story right from the start and it made me feel sad reading it. Miles wasn’t used to the changes and so having so many in such a short time was overwhelming for his mind to deal with.

His teacher was wonderful and so caring, she didn’t like having to put the new rules into place but she had too. She really cared for her children and did everything she could to make it fun and when she noticed Miles, she found a way to make him happier and understand what was going on. It was really sweet.

This is a perfect book for changes, to help with a child that is struggling and is getting mentally drained due to these changes. The messages are important in this book and can help an adult guide a child through a hard change and mental struggles and put them at a bit of ease.

This was really well written and was very delicately explained, it was really sad but really sweet and I liked the gentleness of the story and how the issues were approached.

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During these times of uncertainty we need books like this to assist in communication with children. The main character, Miles', anxiety builds throughout the story but supportive adults give him constructive ways to cope with what he can't control. A great addition to every classroom library.

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I love this. Everyone needs to learn how to cope with change. I wish there were more books like this when I was younger. This book will be a great spark for conversations in classrooms or at home about routines changing, feeling anxious, following rules/cues, and dealing with all of the negative emotions that come with those things. Highly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC. All opinions are my own.

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This is a wonderful heartwarming book for kids struggling with changes in their lives. It's oftentimes hard to accept new ways of doing things which cause little ones to feel sad, uncertain and scared.

The adorable illustrations and positive message of the rhyming text is sure to be a comfort to those feeling confused and unhappy about their changing circumstances.

The book assures Miles, a sweet little boy, that it's okay to feel uncomfortable and anxious because adults have those same feelings too sometimes. With support from his family and his caring teacher he is lifted out his sadness and taught how to always have a smile ready to help him cope and feel better. It is a beautiful life lesson that he eagerly shares with those around him, even with Daisy, the dog.

The illustrations greatly enrich the storyline. They are expressive, colourful and relatable. At the end of the book are tips by Dr. Kaia Calbeck, a clinical psychologist with a practice based in Miami, Florida. They will help children deal with the anxiety of a change. This segment will be very helpful to a parent, caregiver or educator. The book addresses topics of coping with change and managing the negative emotions surrounding circumstances that unexpectedly occur in life. I highly recommend this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Very cute book about how little Miles adapts to change in his community and in his classroom. This will help children realize that change is ok and that not everything is a routine. Also, that it is ok if things change.

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I love the simplicity with which these professionals provide guidance to help children with change. I’ll be sure to implement some of these tips in my family!

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