Note to Readers

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Get Happy - Malachy Doyle

Released June 2011

Bloomsbury Kids
Malachy Doyle
Caroline Uff

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Young readers three years of age and up are encouraged to make each of their days better by changing negative behavior to positive. With bright, colorful illustrations you’ll find examples of the not so good and desired behavior.

Open the book and there are two children squabbling over a teddy bear and having a tug-of-war, each one pulling on an arm of the hapless stuffed animal. Then, on the opposite page there are the same two youngsters sharing a bag of candy. How nice!

The minimalist text cuts right to the chase. “Squabble less.” Reads one side and “Share more!” reads the other.  And so it goes…sniffle less, snuggle more, grumble less, giggle more, etc.

After page after page of “less” and “more," finally you reach the last page which exclaims, “Be happy!”  Of course!

Although this is an admirable book with pleasant illustrations which mirrors various types of behavior, I’m not sure what type of staying power this book has.  After one or two readings will it slip to the bottom of the pile and not be “requested” anymore at bedtime or for an afternoon reading session. Perhaps!

Although Mom and Dad may like its message, whatever appeal the book has for children will be in how enticing the illustrations are. Some youngsters will want to view them over and over again while others will tire of them quickly.

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