'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Review: This is My Happy Place

Do you have a special happy place?

Author Emma Bowd and illustrator Jen Khatun take us on the happiest of journeys in This is my Happy Place, a stunning new picture book that will have everyone thinking about what makes them happy.

Is it pondering puzzles on a drizzly day and having a rainbow bring magic your way?

Is it dashing outside for the first flakes of snow and leaving a footprint wherever you go?

Through beautiful rhyme and a flowing narrative, Bowd takes us through a variety of happy and fun kid scenarios that are so relatable, each will have kids shouting, ‘that’s my happy place!’

It’s a stunning exploration of the special activities we sometimes forget bring the greatest joy — playing in tents, licking the spoon, putting on shows and running really fast. It’s also an inspiring list of things to do to find happiness if you’re in search of something to brighten your mood.

Khatun’s illustrations are oh-so-gorgeous. Colourful, scratchy, funky fun, she has a magic ability to infuse emotion into characters with very few strokes of the pen. The details are gorgeous, making every turn of the page something to explore.

International Day of Happiness is right around the corner on March 20, and this is a fantastic book to share with kids to remind them that happiness is worth celebrating. It’s a story with power to start a conversation. 

Happiness is often overlooked and taken for granted, but this book helps change that. We should be deep-diving into happiness. We should know what makes us happy and have plans to make happiness part of every week. In such a fun, encouraging and inspiring way, This is My Happy Place brings these ideas to life and makes it easy for parents and teachers to explore happiness with kids.

I also think it’s a joyful reminder to us adults that the simple things really are the best and are the things that kids love the most.

Thank you Emma and Jen for reminding me of what makes me happy!

Title: This is My Happy Place
Author: Emma Bowd
Illustrator: Jen Khatun
Publisher: Affirm Press, $19.99
Publication Date: 27 February 2024
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922930248
For ages: 4 - 7
Type: Picture Book