The Happiest Book Ever

illus. by Bob Shea. 40p. Disney-Hyperion. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781484730454. POP
PreS-Gr 2—In a quest to be the happiest book ever, this interactive story has lined up lots of help. Dancing cake? Check. A candy parade and a flying lion? Yup. Now readers supply happy thoughts. All is well, except for the frowny frog. The book is super-duper happy, except for the frog, whose dour expression never changes. Entice a smile from him with a frog-centric riddle provided at the back of the book? (What's giant and green and hops around Tokyo? Frogzilla!) Nope, not even that groaner warrants a grin. Maybe we can just cover the frog with a Post-it note? No way, the sticky-tongued fellow makes fast work of that. The only solution is to kick the frog out of the book entirely. Now everybody's happy, right? Well, no, not exactly. Chasing Frog out of the book is just mean, and "being mean is not happy." In a forgiving mood, Frog comes back to the book and is given a balloon to make him content. Book, Frog, and readers have successfully made the happiest book ever! The volume is chock-full of colorfully wacky, doodlelike illustrations that employ a palette of yellow, orange, and bright blue. The book's "face" is surprisingly expressive, using only a few lines and shapes.
VERDICT Fun for one-on-one sharing or a riotous time with a larger group, especially where other interactive titles are popular.

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