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When You Are Happy Hardcover – April 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689862512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689862519
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–An enchanting story of familial love. These relatives gather around and take turns comforting, cajoling, and keeping one child happy and out of harms way. Mom and Dad joyfully wait on her hand and foot when she is sick, sisters and brothers make silly faces to make the grumps go away, and her grandmother knits her a blanket from leftover sun should she ever be cold. When she gets lost, her grandfather breaks out an old-fashioned helicopter complete with swarming searchlights held by siblings and the family cat. The lyrical text, in short prose verse, invites loved ones to snuggle down together to share it over and over again, and the springtime repartee, …I will outleap the frog,/outbuzz the bee,/outwink the firefly, will delight read-aloud groups. Valérios acrylic childlike illustrations sparkle with so much color, expression, and engaging design that kids will hardly know where to look first. At times the whimsical characters look too similar to tell them apart, but that doesnt diminish the fun or the sentiment that familial love is unconditional. Great for springtime programs or family-tree units.–Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Spinelli offers an unusual approach to helping children understand their fears and feelings. Using a comforting refrain ("When you are . . ."), each member of the young girl's family reassures her when she is cold, sick, lonely, tired, grumpy, lost, and happy: "When you are afraid, / I will take your hand / and not let go-- / except once to borrow one hundred tiny stars / to spell out the words: YOU ARE SAFE." Appealingly offbeat, whimsical illustrations characterize the girl's emotions: when she's afraid, she's depicted in a Little Red Riding Hood outfit. Like a Technicolor dream, the art is full of movement and bright color, with smiling, happy people wafting across every spread. This will be great for lap sharing; children will feel warmed by the sense of close family ties. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The illustration is beautiful and rich and exciting in both.
Mona Gracen
I also love giving beautiful books as gifts and When You Are Happy makes a perfect baby shower or birthday gift.
Kristie Finnan
It talkes about fear, sadness, being lost and how the parent makes the kids always feel better.
Andrea Neuman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt on July 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a delightful spell Eileen Spinelli weaves with this soothing, colorful book that was probably written for her grandchildren. It's the perfect goodnight read, as it gently reminds children that they are loved. When they are sad, they'll be held. When they're cold, they'll be warmed. When they're sick, they'll be babied. When they're afraid, they'll be supported. Best of all, when they're lost, they'll be searched for like rare treasure. "I will wear out my shoes and a dozen little rays of hope," writes Spinell, "but...I WILL find you!"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Wallace on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My three-year old daughter and I first enjoyed this book by borrowing it from our local library. It only took one reading to realize that this was one for our home library.

The poetic text is sweet without being saccharine. The words convey all the ways a family loves a child through thick and thin with humor and a touch of reverence. I was intially unsure whether my daughter would be engaged by this less-story and more-poem type of text, but she often recites the lines right along with me.

And then there are the illustrations...just amazing. The colors, textures, and images draw the reader into a bright and shining world that is both wide and oh-so-cozy. Even on the pages where the text speaks of sadness or sickness, you feel somehow safe and content. Each spread features the main characters along with "hidden" vignettes featuring the little girl's dolls and a maverick moon who follows along with the sentiments page by page.

I write an e-newsletter for my local moms' group, and this book was the reason I decided our newsletter needed a "Book of the Month" column. "When You Are Happy" was the first book featured, and I truly hope that every one of the 135 moms in our group picks up a copy to share with her kids.

Happy reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Neuman on May 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found this book recently and am reading it to my boys every night. It talkes about fear, sadness, being lost and how the parent makes the kids always feel better. I can identify with the book and read it with a passion that comes from the bottom of my heart.It is so true to the nature of parenthood. Fun to read and my boys love it as well. Great book to have in your collection.
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Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book to my daughter, it made me cry. It said exactly what I feel about her in a way that I don't think I could - or at least not that I would have considered. It really puts words to that special love that parents, grandparents and even siblings have for children. This is the second book by this author and illustrator team. The first, Do You Have a Hat, was one of my daughter's favorites. This book has a very different feel thematically but is just as wonderful. The illustration is beautiful and rich and exciting in both. This is definitely one we need to own (having only recently borrowed it from the library). If you want your child to know how much they are loved, how safe they are, and how much joy they bring, read them this book.
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Format: Hardcover
The cover of this picture book is what initially caught my attention when purchasing this story last year. However, the illustrations inside are just as colorful and whimsical. Eileen Spinelli's soothing style of writing in this book makes this book one of my favorite bedtime stories and books to read when my kids are sick or have had a tough day. I also love giving beautiful books as gifts and When You Are Happy makes a perfect baby shower or birthday gift. Mommy's High Heel Shoes
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By rsphil123 on March 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful pictures accompany a beautiful text celebrating the many ways that family members acknowledge, receive, and (when necessary) heal a child's feelings. My daughter had her granny read this to her about 20 times in a row (not exaggerating) when we first got it from the library!
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