In a Time of Face Mask Mandates, Where Have All the Smiles Gone?

December 15, 2021

A few months ago, Paul Gullifor, a communications professor at Bradley University, found himself, like many of us, wondering about the lasting effects the pandemic could have on humanity. Often in touch with his three grandchildren, he especially was curious what it was like for little ones during these trying times.

A previously published author, Gullifor turned to writing down his churning thoughts, eventually drafting up an entire children's book. "Where Have All the Smiles Gone?" centers around the COVID-19 mask mandates in effect.

The 28-page book asks, "Ever wonder what children must be thinking in a world where everyone is wearing face masks?" It also addresses an important, widespread need during this unique time by helping parents and caretakers talk with children about the pandemic, masks, etc., in a friendly, disarming way.

At its heart, the story features a little girl on a mission to help people smile, whether the people around them can see their smile or not.

The book took roughly three months to get to print. It was able to move so quickly largely because it was locally made.

"The layout design was done by a colleague and former student of mine, Paige Dean," said Gullifor. "The illustrator is Paige's sister, Amy Werner. It was a really fun collaboration."

You can find "Where Have All the Smiles Gone?" for sale at many online retailers.