Select one of the keywords
Get Happy    by Malachy Doyle & Caroline Uff order for
Get Happy
by Malachy Doyle
Order:  USA  Can
Walker, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

I have to admit this is a picture book I am ambivalent about. I can see why a parent might like its message and its art is easy on the eye, but the word heavy handed comes to mind as I flip through it.

The book portrays a number of children showing different types of behavior. On one side you'll find two children apparently shouting at one another and on the opposite page they are singing in the bathroom. Only four words appear on the two pages ... 'Shout less' on one side and 'Sing more!' on the other.

As you page through the book your child is admonished to 'Worry less. Wonder more. Sulk less. Sparkle more! Tease less. Tickle more! Grab less. Give more!' And so it goes. Yes, the simple alliteration is catchy and the illustrations are cute, but I'm not entirely sold on the delivery of the message.

Does a young child really understand tease, zone out, sulk or grumble? Perhaps! But I'm not totally convinced these are concepts they really grasp yet.

On the other hand, I have to admit that the book may well appeal to a lot of very young children for multiple reasons that have very little to do with the author's intent or my misgivings. So the best approach here would be to let your child look at this book in the bookstore and then decide if he or she wants you to purchase it. Or better still, check it out from the library.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews