Happiness Is...

Marcus Pfister. North-South (Ingram, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7358-4179-6
Zoe and Leo, a pair of "best mouse-friend[s]," dream up metaphors to try to encapsulate the feeling of happiness. Pfister again uses the crinkly textured illustration style seen in recent books like The Yellow Cab and Ava's Poppy as the two mice turn to nature for inspiration. "Happiness is feeling a snowflake melt on your tongue in the winter," Zoe offers, as Pfister pictures her wearing a striped scarf over her summery yellow jumper. After a few more examples from Zoe, Leo catches on: "Hmm, I get it.... Happiness is discovering a little piece of cheese in your trouser pocket." There's no plot to speak of—the two mice simply unfurl additional examples and head on their way, flying kites through a turquoise meadow. Images of the duo blowing dandelion seeds into the wind, stomping in spring puddles, and "shuffling through a thick carpet of autumn leaves" are clear and evocative, and the book may shine most as a prompt for spurring similar creative exercises at home or at school. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
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