The Lost Smile



“A deeply important story for all children. The Lost Smile provides the perfect platform to explore the reality of emotions, build self-awareness, foster self-care and human connection.”

Sonia Bestulic, Author, Founder of Talking Heads Speech Pathology, Podcaster of Chatabout Children with Sonia Bestulic


The Lost Smile is a charming picture book about a young girl Zaytoon learning to deal with feeling sad and blue. On first read, this story reminds me of Jedda Robaard’s Little Creatures series. Robaard’s series also touches on themes of identity but in this picture book for older readers, author Nadia King explores these issues with more nuance. The story has a gentle message –  everyone feels sad sometimes, Zaytoon’s ability to overcome her sadness is inside her as she turns to her family and her home for comfort.

The words are made richer by the gorgeous illustrations of artist Nelli Aghekyan. I liked the stylised character designs of Zaytoon’s family, especially Dadi who looks like she belongs in a hand drawn animated film. The environment is filled with textural detail which you generally don’t find in younger picture books.
This is an ideal picture book to snuggle up to with your kids (or if you’re like me, just to enjoy on your own!)

 —Marianna Shek, Writer, Reader, Ideal eater at

Title: The Lost Smile

Author: Nadia L. King

Illustrator: Nelli Aghekyan


Publishing Date: October 2020

Price: £ 11.99

Purchase Link: Amazon

When Zaytoon wakes up sad, she goes on a search to find her smile. From the kitchen to the garden, Zaytoon searches high and low, finally discovering her smile — it’s smiling from her reflection in the window!

The Lost Smile is beautifully illustrated, colourful picture book demonstrating the importance of accepting emotions. Zaytoon’s journey shows children that it’s okay to be sad, reassuring young readers that sadness can be temporary.

Themes of cultural diversity, emotional intelligence, family life and the importance of connecting with nature and animals make this a perfect book for our times.