Happy Reviews

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“[S]izzling lines of scarlet, orange, aqua, and fuchsia…It’s a delightful amuse-bouche of a book, and an aquatic introduction to everyday emotions. Ages 2– up!”

New York Times Book Review 

Mies van Hout’s Happy is a tour de force of underwater awesomeness and emotion, showcasing what an artist can do with a few pastels, black paper and something fundamental to express. I want to hug itThe creatures accurately represent the emotions, but they’re also unexpected — fresh colors, strange shapes. Most of them look like deep-sea creatures, floating and emoting about the secret lives they live in the black depths of the enormous ocean…simple books about feelings can exhibit complexity, ingenuity and passion.”

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Kirkus Reviews 

Beautiful, vibrant fish…illustrate emotions in this art piece for children and for adults…The line, color, and texture make each page a pleasure to return to…at the end, readers will pronounce themselves…‘delighted.’”

New York Journal of Books 

Happy is a kaleidoscope of emotional colors splashed on a black canvas of solidarity. A dramatically colorful, 32-page, hardcover picture book for children ages two and up, Happy takes the reader on a journey of emotional discoveryHappy provides ample opportunities for extensive discussion about the expression of emotions—a true, potentially interactive delight for young readers and their caregivers.” 

School Library Journal  

“This attractive book could be used one-on-one or in a small group to discuss what causes one to feel a particular way and to introduce the vocabulary of emotions.”

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“This sweet book about recognizing emotions on the faces of others…will inspire thought and conversation about what it’s like to feel these often perplexing things. Day-glow pastel drawings on a black background drive home the power of single-word text entries.

CLCD – Children’s Literature

“Emotions can be so complex and a challenge to communicate…Happy makes this complicated subject more manageable and enjoyable with simplistic one-word text and stunningly beautiful pieces of art with fish. This book goes beyond the basics of happy, sad, and mad to incorporate an enriched emotional vocabulary such as startled, curious, and content. It makes a great gateway book to dive into complex conversations about our feelings, and the feelings of others, to help create a more empathetic child, classroom, and community…The artwork of the fish is so unique, it will easily catch attention from older preschoolers as well. This book would be a great addition to art projects using chalk or oil pastels…therefore older children could also benefit.”

Book Time

“Who knew a fish could have so many expressions. Apparently illustrator Mies Van Hout did…I laughed out loud when I flipped the page over for furious (so good), angry and startled. Bored was pretty fantastic as well. Of all the one-word books out there, this one might be one of my favourites.”

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