Picture Book Review: The Happy Book
The overall story shows how emotions work socially rather than in their own space.
We received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review Date: February 22nd, 2019
Written By: Andy Rash
When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes… until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn’t save you one bite. Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn’t the goal—being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling all the feels together.
This is a really fun feelings book. I enjoy the way each new “book” experience is related to what happened in the “book” before. That aspect makes it different from most of the feelings books I have read. It takes you through a range of emotions based on a single situation, each new discovery of feelings leading to a new feeling. It’s very clever.
There’s also some fun bits for the parents, which definitely go straight over my kid’s head, which is that there are a lot of nods to common expressions like “happy as a clam” and “happy camper” for example, which end up being just the kid and his clam friend’s names. It’s something kids might not be familiar with, but as an adult it makes me giggle a little at it. There’s kind of a cheesy pun thing going on almost.
The overall story also works really well as it shows how emotions work socially rather than in their own space. The Happy Book goes past the feeling identifier stories and starts showing that certain people’s feelings can affect the feelings of others. It’s a really good concept to be introducing right now to our threenager so she can understand, for example, why mommy got mad because Madeline was mad.
It’s an opportunity to show her that if she’s angry for not getting her way, it’s likely her mom is going to feed off that and have her own set of emotions that may not fit what she expects of me; aka “be nice to me mommy when I want a toy” is what she expects. “I’m not happy about you getting mad over not getting a toy” is what she gets instead. Now this book can help her visualize those connections and understand that how she projects her feelings or the things she says and does in relation to those feelings affects those around her.
- Tear & Fold Resistance: 7/10
- Font Readability: 10/10
- Kid Engagement: 10/10
- Mommy Engagement: 9/10