Book Review: Happy

Author/Illustrator: Mies van Hout
Interest Level: Ages 5 and Up

A Note From the Publisher: Clear, strong lines and radiant colors that seem to smile at the reader characterize Mies van Hout's drawings. In Happy, Mies shows all the emotions a young child encounters. Each double page spread is devoted to one fish, showing a particular emotion with its name in lettering that expresses the same feeling. Swim into Happy where the dazzling fish sparkle against the dark background and let the images spark laughter and empathy.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: There is a hefty stack of feelings books on my shelf. I'm obsessed with them. Like obsessed. Let me tell you something - it's so much more fun to read a book about emotions when you have a sweet activity to go with it. But you need the right kind of book to make it happen. Get ready to love this new one as much as I do. Happy is such a cool addition to my collection. I read it to third graders today and they were so into the fish illustrations. Love it when I have 100% engagement from my student audience...all thanks to the cool looking fish on each page. 
I love this illustration below from Happy for SHOCKED.

Activity: Help connect students to the emotions through art. We used black construction paper with different colored chalk to draw our own feelings fish. You could also run a small group called 'Feelings Fish' using the book as the theme to help students explore emotions.

Click here for a sneak preview of the book. 

Feelings Covered: curious, nervous, brave, shy, surprised, sad, furious, proud, jealous, loving, angry, glad, confused, content, afraid, sure, shocked, astonished, bored, delighted

A Link to These Book: 


  1. Oh my gosh I laughed out loud with delight when the happy fish picture loaded and did the same with the shocked fish! I am definitely getting this one! Thanks for sharing. LOVE your blog and reviews! Can't thank you enough!

  2. Beautiful illustrations!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love this! Thank you for including your lesson idea-its great :)

  4. Definitely getting this book! Thanks for sharing it and the great follow up activity! I am running a feelings group for girls and this will be perfect!! Thanks Again! It's great to have you back!!