As the title promises, a board book big enough to use at toddler storytimes as well as in a lap.
At a full 9 by 12 inches, this and its companion title, The Big Book of Silly, are certainly bigger than the average board book. With only eight double-page spreads, each illustrating one example of what makes someone happy, the book makes a starting point for conversation rather than a comprehensive listing. The format allows for large, clear, greeting-card–style illustrations of cheerful-looking animals and children. Two quibbles. First, happiness is attributed to fish, snails, giraffes, owls, rabbits, and mice though there is no objective way to know how or if they experience emotions. Second, the final assertion that “We are happy when we are hugging!” may not be the universal experience Marshall assumes. Where does that leave the child who has experienced unwanted hugging? The Big Book of Silly offers examples of silliness while inviting readers to participate: “Can you be silly like that?” “How silly is that?”
A good choice for young listeners not quite ready for plot but willing to spend time with an adult engaging in conversation about ideas. (Board book. 2-4)