I Am Happy!

Candlewick. Dec. 2023. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781536231281.
PreS–Rosen has once again teamed up with Starling to continue their picture book series (I Am) with this new entry. A gently anthropomorphized brown dog can’t contain its happiness and moves through the pages collecting friends, including a familiar hungry squirrel, demonstrating different activities they can do when they are happy. The text is brief, primed for reading aloud to toddler audiences, and the typography frequently mirrors the animals’ movements. Starling uses bold, flat areas of color with single-tone, rough shading and minimal line work to create the happy critters. Chalklike textures on solid color backgrounds depict a variety of settings. The narrative ends abruptly, even considering the slight text; adults will want to prepare for that change in cadence when reading aloud. Ultimately, this is a bright romp, but it doesn’t stand out from similar titles.
VERDICT Best for large collections and libraries looking for toddler story hour reads.

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