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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Layla's Happiness, written by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2019. $23.95 ages 3 and up

"And the full moon - 
well, it's my favorite.

It sits in the sky like a 
wish flower's sister. 

If I could reach the moon, 
I'd blow on it and 
wish to play the trumpet well, 
without every having to practice." 

You need to meet Layla. She has spunk. She observes her world through a refreshing and passionate lens. As we search for ways to be happier in our lives, we need to look to the children - to children who have the uncanny ability to look at the world with attention and great pleasure. Layla teaches that important lesson. 

As the reader learns more and more about her, we know what she likes, what she is like, and what makes her heart sing. She announces immediately that her name means 'night beauty' which explains why she loves the night sky. But, that is not all she loves. She loves the full moon, tree climbing, wearing purple, and eating spaghetti without using a fork. She loves being with her friend Juan and always with her parents. She loves the family stories her father tells, and the poetry her mother loves to read.

She makes every single person who reads her story want to dance with the joy she finds in every day experiences. It takes no time to want to be part of her procession ... to follow her from one page to the next, basking in the aura that surrounds her. She is curious, full of imagination, and always ready for a new adventure. 

The artwork is as energetic and entertaining as the young lady we come to know on these pages. Bright colors and appealing textured spreads invite little ones to reach out to touch Layla's gorgeous world. It also begs asking the question of those who read it: what makes you happy? 

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