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My Heart Fills with Happiness Board book – March 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Toddler-PreS-Joyful and tender, this board book celebrates the activities that bring gladness through family and cultural connections. On one spread, three children wait in front of the oven in a modern kitchen ("My heart fills with happiness when…I smell bannock baking in the oven."). The patterns on their clothing are echoed in the kitchen textiles, creating a sense of belonging and completeness. Flett's quietly powerful gouache and digital collage illustrations emphasize the relationships between people through small gestures and touches; the bold colors and simplified compositions increase the impact by stripping away all that is unnecessary. Other things that bring happiness include holding hands, seeing the face of a loved one, singing, drumming, feeling the sun's rays, and listening to stories. All the people appear to be indigenous, although specific groups are not mentioned. The book is dedicated to "former Indian Residential School students and their families." The author and illustrator are strongly connected to their Canadian Aboriginal communities, and the sweet family story has universal appeal. VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries.-Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MNα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"A quiet loveliness, sense of gratitude, and—yes—happiness emanate from this tender celebration of simple pleasures, which features a cast of First Nations children and adults...Short, first-person phrases...revel in both solitary and familial activities...Flett’s (Little You) crisp-edged paintings blend universal and culturally specific experiences." (Publishers Weekly, Starred 2015-11-27)
"A board book that leaves you feeling cheerful and appreciative of those small moments in life that bring one joy. Recommended." (CM Magazine 2016-01-15)
"Joyful and tender, this board book celebrates the activities that bring gladness through family and cultural connections...Flett’s quietly powerful gouache and digital collage illustrations emphasize the relationships between people...The sweet family story has universal appeal. A first purchase for all libraries." (School Library Journal, Starred 2016-03-01)
"A celebration of aboriginal culture...but also universal in its message: sometimes it's the simplest things that lift our spirits highest...[The book] is beautiful in both its appearance and its intention." (Quill & Quire 2016-03-01)
“A comforting board book offers young children the opportunity for reflection, and for affirmation, too. Moments of happiness tucked into each and every day celebrated here include time with family, self-expression, and the natural world." (Cooperative Children’s Book Center 2016-03-01)
"[A] light, warm and utterly charming book...Highly recommended for families, parents of young children to share with them and to begin conversation and sharing about emotions." (Resource Links 2016-04-01)
"An excellent board book for every baby Canadian." (The Toronto Star 2016-05-22)
"Specific visuals ground this sweet celebration of simple pleasures." (Kirkus Reviews 2016-06-22)
"It is a fantastic toddler book that celebrates family and heritage and would be valuable in any collection, especially those of First Nations heritage." (Raising Mom blog 2017-02-06)
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