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Reader-submitted “Smiley Book of Colors” April 16, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Books, Reader submission, Simulacra, Smiley.
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My friend Anthony P. — a librarian — sent me a link to this wonderful article about a book called The Smiley Book of Colors, by Ruth Kaiser.

The Smiley Book of Colors, by Ruth Kaiser. Submitted by reader Anthony P.

I assumed from the title that it was a children’s book, but I was half wrong. It is a children’s book, of sorts, but it’s rooted in some pretty hard-core scientific research, “at once teaching (eternal) kids basic color theory and instilling in them the habits of optimism — a charming, light-hearted complement to the recent grown-up exploration of the science of smiles,” according to Maria Popova.

The book’s concept is simple: it pairs color-coded smiley faces with psychologically appropriate aphorisms about happiness based on the colors in the images. But what strikes me most about the book is that all the images are simulacra — examples of smileys occurring accidentally (or synchronistically?) in the world! To my mind, that approach invites children (and adults) to be on the lookout for hidden smileys everywhere, and with that mindset, we all wind up thinking about happiness a little more and becoming happy a little more often. 🙂

If you can’t afford to buy the book yet, or you tried to check it out from the library but it’s already on hold by someone else, at least check out the article about the book and browse some of the AWESOME smiley simulacra there!

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