Happiness is…

If you’re familiar with the musical, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” you probably know the song, “Happiness.” Each time I hear it, I smile.  The lyrics include lines like this: “Happiness is…2 kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, climbing a tree…  Happiness is anyone and anything at all, that’s loved by you.”

rbpodAt The Reading Bug, we find happiness in music and books.  (Listen to our children’s story podcast, Reading Bug Adventures and you’ll hear how much we love sharing stories and music!)


Here, we have asked our booksellers for their favorite children’s books about happiness or that make them happy!  We hope they’ll make you happy too!


Bookseller, Jen recommends these early readers for ages 4-7:

toyI love My New Toy by Mo Willems
Mo makes me happy because Piggie and Elephant are all of us. Mo Willems super cute illustrations and tactful resolution of an embarrassing situation honors friends above all.  This series and the new series, Elephant Piggie & Like Reading are full of funny and happy situations for a variety of ages.

agnesAgnes and Clarabelle Celebrate by Adele Griffin and Courtney Sheinmel
This book makes me smile because it’s all about taking care of your friends – sharing special occasions with them and encouraging them, even at your own expense.  This is a perfect amount of text and adorable illustrations for young readers who are nearly ready to begin reading chapter books.

Bookseller, Robyn loves unicorns and gnomes!
pheobePhoebe & Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
This graphic novel makes me extremely happy, because, duh it has Marigold the Unicorn. Also, it’s a funny and charming story about friendship with a sprinkle of glitter.  Did I mention glitter?

gnomeHow to Grow Happiness by Kelly DiPucchio
This picture book makes me happy because it’s a story about Jerome the Gnome’s attempt to plant/grow a seed. He tries on his own, but his attempts fail. With the help of his woodland friends he succeeds in his quest. The illustrations are vibrant and helps to further enhance the happiness of reading the book.

Bookseller, Heather loves dogs…and hyenas?!  Well, it’s a hyena who dances ballet :).
dogCan I Be Your Dog?  by Troy Cummings
Is there anything happier than a dog finding their forever home? Arfy writes letters to everybody on Butternut Street looking for his place to call home, and he finds it in the most unexpected place!

Hyena Ballerina (available in-store only)
Dance makes Hyena happier than anything! Unfortunately the swans don’t think she fits in with them. But when she finds the Pooch Playhouse she becomes the star she has always been!  This rhyming phonics book is perfect for emerging readers.

Bookseller, Shoshana recommends these middle grade/young teen titles:
witnessGreetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt

Any ‘child finds a true home’ tale is inherently happy; this story is even more so through its unique setup (“Let’s send everyone into witness protection!”), spirited main character who fights the odds to protect her new family, and the love she finds there.

doughnutThe Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz
The tagline says it all: Everything is less terrible with doughnuts. In this particular case, it’s a move to the country, friend trouble, annoying sisters, and a total lack of good restaurants. But Tristan is able to make things considerably less terrible – maybe even good – with new friends, creative thinking, and legendary chocolate cream doughnuts.

georgeGeorge by Alex Gino
They always say, “Be who you are,” but that’s pretty tough when you’re a girl in the body of a boy named George. George thinks she can find some happiness by playing the lead in the class play, Charlotte’s Web, but that means telling everyone her secret. Luckily, she has a friend by her side who sees her for who she is, and that can be the happiest feeling of all.

Bookseller, Lauren recommends books with music:
robotMy Friend Robot by Sunny Scribens
Books with music always make me happy.  This new tech-y book is sung to the tune of “London Bridges.” A team of kids and a robot work together to build a house and robot learns a little bit along the way about humans!  It’s silly, fun and includes information about how to use tools in the back of the book.  Kids can dance like a robot for added fun!

dgDuck & Goose Let’s Dance by Tad Hills, Lauren Savage & Ross Gruet
Of course, I need to recommend the book for which I wrote the song!  Kids in my daily storytime at The Reading Bug love to incorporate singing and dancing in between stories, so in a collaboration with Tad Hills’ Duck and Goose characters, we created a song full of fun moves; jumping, flapping your wings and shaking those tail feathers!

What are the books that make YOU happy?  Please share with us on our facebook and instagram @readingbugbox and @thereadingbug