A tiny tot knows that if you spread happiness, it will come back to you.
An exuberant child with straight, black hair, light-brown skin, and a cheery red hat beseeches readers to smile, laugh, and jump for joy—but most importantly, to pass it on. Friends (of many ethnicities and a few from the animal kingdom as well) reap the benefits of the narrator’s jolly worldview. They giggle and marvel in concert, whether they are under the sea, high in the treetops, or whizzing along on a roller coaster. Set against vast swaths of almost every color of the rainbow, the matte background changes with each page turn, bopping along with the infectious mood. Of course, it’s not all roses: “Sometimes the fun and glee / aren’t in their usual place. / But search around, / there’s always some … // a hum, a hug, a happy face.” Although the text has been Americanized, the book’s British origins are hinted at by the inclusion of “wellies” on the gray, rainy page, which also shows that puddle-splashing is universal.
The ultrapositive verse may seem to be a string of platitudes to some, but encouraging kids to be kind is never a misstep. (Picture book. 3-6)