Tuesday, January 13, 2015

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK SERIES: My Happy Life and My heart is laughing by Rose Lagercrantz


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She's happy because she's she's going to start school. Dani has been waiting to go to school her whole life. Then things get even better - she meets Ella by the swings. After that, Dani and Ella do everything together. But then somethings happens that Dani isn't prepared for.

REVIEW

If I could describe this book in just one word it would be: GENUINE.  It feels so real. Dani seems so much like a real child with real fears and hopes. When Dani and Ella become friends they behave exactly like many of the children that I actually know.  Like all of us, Dani and Ella have their ups and downs as well as personal struggles.  Still, Dani remains happy until something happens that is truly devastating and then everything seems to go wrong.  Can she find her happy again? While this seems like a deceptively simple story, it packs a punch just because of the themes and its believability.  How many of us experiences ups and downs just like Dani does and end up making mistakes because we are upset.  This book may be written for children but the themes are universal.  What a wonderfully uplifting book. Highly recommended.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dani's been trying her best to stay happy ever since her best friend Ella moved away. But some girls are cruel to her. It would all be okay if only Ella would move back.

REVIEW

I liked this book but I did have a couple of concerns looking at it as a teacher.  Dani really misses her friend Ella who moved away despite a recent visit.  When a couple of her classmates blame her for something (a boy likes her instead of them) they treat her very unkindly (pinching that leaves bruises) that leads to her misbehaving and running home.  When her father finds out at first he is going to make her apologize then he sees the pinch marks.  The two girls get in big trouble, which is definitely appropriate, but Dani's behavior is let go which I'm not sure is the best response.  She still needs to learn how to appropriately deal with those who are unkind and squirting ketchup at them isn't it.  However, despite this concern I did still enjoy the book.  Dani is a likable child who very much behaves like one and child readers should have no trouble relating to her.

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