FICTION

Where Happiness Begins

Random. Aug. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593127704.
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K-Gr 3–In Eland’s follow up to When Sadness is at Your Door, a young child is asked, “Are you looking for Happiness?” It is explained that happiness can often be in disguise, or go by a different name. It can be hiding or right out in the open, but “appears to have a will of its own.” There are challenges to finding it, but there is reassurance that it will be there waiting. The child is encouraged to follow it, which can at times be scary, but can lead to new things. Happiness is characterized by a pink amorphous figure, and changes sizes and places suggesting the many different ways it can be found. The illustrations’ blue lines are soothing, and matted fluorescent color accents of yellow, green and pink add to the sense of joy in happy moments. Conscientious of building social and emotional skills, the omniscient narrator tells the child, “You can’t feel happy all the time,” but if you are feeling lost or overwhelmed, “Just breathe.”
VERDICT For those seekign titles that support social emotional learning, this is a gentle reminder of where happiness begins.

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