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SO HAPPY! by Kevin Henkes


by Kevin Henkes & illustrated by Anita Lobel

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-056483-0
Publisher: Greenwillow

In a rich landscape that could be Mexico or the Southwest, a woman plants a seed; her son can’t think of anything to do; and a little rabbit crosses a tiny bit of water “narrow as a ribbon.” When the rains come, the seed starts growing, the boy is excited, and the rabbit gets “wet and scared.” When the rain stops, the boy starts to build a bridge across the creek, now “wide as a door” and green shoots make a flower. There’s a rainbow, the rabbit gets home crossing the bridge, and the boy brings the flower to his mother. Everyone was “so happy!” Using very few words, Henkes makes this marvelous, evocative tale sing. Lobel’s brilliantly colored watercolor-and-gouache paintings capture both the shadows and the golden light, the hills and the scrub. The mother’s dark braids and brightly embroidered clothing contrast nicely with the white muslin of her son’s; when the father comes home at the end of the story (after galloping off in the morning), he wears a striped serape and brings his son a book about bridges. Reassuring and beautiful. (Picture book. 4-8)