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Sunday, December 28, 2014

100 Things that make me HAPPY, by Amy Schwartz. Abrams Appleseed. 2014. $18.95 ages 4 and up

"Big-kid bikes
Little trikes


City lights
Starry nights"

If you want to do something fun with your kids to celebrate the New Year, rather than the old resolutions list, why not try listing the things that make you (or them) happy! It's a great lesson in gratitude, and counting. The 100th day of school comes around early in February, and that makes this a terrific book for sharing in January, as you begin to make plans for the upcoming
celebration. That's another reason to appreciate this cheerful, rhythmic new picture book by the brilliant Amy Schwartz. She sure knows how to capture the attention of children!

As you share the rhyming couplets repeatedly, you cannot help but appreciate the joys that she shares. There is never a time when I felt as if I had had enough of the list ... it remains fresh and entertaining throughout the repeated readings. As you share it, listeners are bound to get involved in telling stories about those happy things that they have also experienced. Smiling all the way, they will be sure to turn the pages as quickly as possible to get to the next joyful moment.

I love the way the font changes, and its varying placement on carefully designed pages. The beautiful bright colors used to dress and impress the children who share their likes, the movement and motion that floats from one image to the next, and the familiar and perhaps not-so-familiar many actions will hold attention and encourage young listeners (and readers) to make some lists of their own. If they rhyme, terrific! If not, what does it matter?

If you want proof that there are really 100 things, check out the poster on the inside of the dust jacket. They are numbered and repeated there for additional fun.

"Curly hair
Teddy bear


Chocolate chips
Camping trips

Birthday wish"

What makes you happy?

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