Book Review: Little Smudge

Author: Lionel Le Neouanic
Interest Level: Ages 3-8

About This Book: Hello—can I play with you? For a child, the entire world hangs on the answer to that question. But what happens if the response is NO?

Lonely Little Smudge is searching everywhere for a friend—and when it sees a group of shapes playing together it thinks the wish has come true. But the colorful squares, triangles, diamonds, and circles all think Smudge is just too different…until it shows them all the amazing shapes it can form, and how magical its difference can be.

With bold, bright, and always surprising images—which range from abstract to cubist—this very special picture book not only celebrates the power of the individual but provides an appealing introduction to modern art.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: If you loved One (which I SO heart) by Kathryn Otishi, then you'll go ga ga for Little Smudge. It instantly became a popular hit with students. Why? Because just like Little Smudge got rejected, kids are running up to me on the playground heart broken because another child or group said to them, "You can't play with me/us!" What draws the kids into the story is how Little Smudge deals with his rejection. At first, he does sort of a small mean action towards the group. (Great way to teach kids that being mean back does not work!). And then the power of assertiveness, kindness, and using ones gifts saves the day (doesn't it always?). This is a cute story. I look forward to reading it again next year to help kids survive friendship difficulties. After giving a 1st grader advice on a similar situation he said: 'Oh yaa, Just like Smudge!' 

A Link to This Book:


  1. Do you have any good recommendations for books to give to little kids when they are about to have a new sibling? I have a niece that is about 18 months (so she is still young) and she will be getting a baby sister in September. I was trying to think of a cute book to get and read with her. I am going to take a look at the categories you have listed, but if you can think of a particular favorite, please let me know!


  2. So glad you asked! I have about four books that I am going to blog about this summer. I'll post them in about 3 weeks. I had my friend's little boy preview them!