Grow Happy

Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser, illus. by Christopher Lyles. Magination, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4338-2331-2
Creating and caring for a garden serves as an apt metaphor for self-care in this sensitive story from the father-daughter team of Lasser and Foster-Lasser. Kiko, a girl with a black bob, explains how she “grow[s] happiness by making good choices” while simultaneously planting an actual garden—finding the perfect place to plant it, tending to it, and addressing challenges that arise (“I can’t change the weather. But if the air gets too cold, I can cover my garden in a cozy blanket”). All the while, she offers parallels that show how she cares for herself in the same way (“Just like my garden, I have some bad times, too. I pay attention to those feelings”). Crinkly, textured papers bring pleasing warmth to Lyles’s (Lucy and Lila) mixed-media collages, creating an atmosphere of positivity to match the girl’s confident attitude. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2016
Release date: 02/01/2017
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