100 Things That Make Me Happyby Amy Schwartz
In the grand tradition of “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” comes an uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating. The list, in rhyming couplets, draws directly from a preschooler’s world—from slippery floors to dinosaurs, from goldfish to a birthday wish. Amy Schwartz weaves a masterful balance between art and text, with each of the 100 items portrayed as its own well-observed and warmly detailed vignette. While the contents provide readers with a frame of reference for the quantity of “100”—a celebratory milestone in preschools and early elementary grades—the oversized pages envelop young children in the wonderful things surrounding them.
Move over, BuzzFeed, Schwartz (Dee Dee and Me) has come up with the ultimate list—and it rhymes: “Red bow/ Tic-tac-toe/ Hula-hoops/ double scoops.” It seems pretty effortless, especially given that most of the sources of happiness catalogued are pretty down to earth. But in fact, Schwartz employs some skillful anti-soppy strategies to ensure her book stays bright, breezy, and buoyant. Hairpin category turns—putting “Something sweet” (a trio of cupcakes) adjacent to “a parakeet”—create a sense of playful spontaneity. The tightly rendered illustrations, which usually appear in twos or three against white backgrounds, have a refreshing emotional reticence; the kids’ happiness is shown as matter-of-fact and grounded rather than euphoric or manic. And then there are the descriptions themselves, eloquent in their unfussiness: it’s enough to say “Grandma’s lap” (the rhyme is completed with “a gingersnap”) and show an image of a child snuggled up and reading with this beloved adult—the author knows her audience can fill in the rest. Schwartz isn’t the first to try a compendium of this sort, but she sets a new benchmark. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
"The tightly rendered illustrations, which usually appear in twos or three against white backgrounds, have a refreshing emotional reticence; the kids' happiness is shown as matter-of-fact and grounded rather than euphoric or manic. And then there are the descriptions themselves, eloquent in their unfussiness...Schwartz isn't the first to try a compendium of this sort, but she sets a new benchmark."
"It’s all very, very sweet, but with the occasional offbeat example that will satisfy out-of-the-box thinkers."
"Schwartz’s distinctive pictures in brilliant colors would make anyone happy...a magical romp through the senses and delights of being human."
PreS-Gr 1—This lovely volume features 100 everyday objects and activities from a child's world that elicit pleasure. In rhyming couplets, the list ranges from "bucket trucks/yellow ducks," "flip-flops/lollipops," and "mud puddles/soap bubbles" to "polka dots/forget-me-nots," "pony rides/shiny slides," and "braids/parades." A sample spread reads "fuzzy sweaters/long letters/ slippery floors/dinosaurs/comfy chair/county fair." Each of the rhymes is accompanied by a delightful illustration featuring a diverse cast of characters. The book jacket doubles as a poster featuring smaller-size illustrations of all 100 happy things on the reverse side. A fun, engaging read.—Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga Public Library System, OH
Lollipop colors and utterly cheery simplicity make for a rousing read-aloud chant. A multiethnic cast of small children and adults lists happy-making small joys in rhyme. It is near impossible not to find something readers will love, too, whether "red socks" and "building blocks" or "braids" and "parades." The pictures range from multiple small vignettes on a spread to full-page illustrations. One particularly striking composition places "city lights" across the gutter from "starry nights." In the first picture, a child tucked in bed looks out her window to a brightly lit nighttime cityscape; opposite, a parent and child toast marshmallows outside their tent on a hill under the stars. It's hard not to love "strawberry ice" and "pizza slice" or a grandfather and grandson pushing their "grocery carts" full of stuff (and those carts rhyme with "frosted hearts"). Fine line and strong color make each image a joy: There's lots of pattern and movement to every figure, therefore much to revel in visually. All 100 things are numbered and reproduced as a poster on the inside of the dust jacket, and the endpapers are striped in every color used. It is a book chock-full of fun—what more could one want? (Picture book. 3-8)
- Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 10 MB
- Age Range:
- 3 - 6 Years
Meet the Author
Amy Schwartz has written and illustrated a number of classic and award-winning picture books. Amy was born and raised in California and now lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first book with Abrams, which, in fact, makes her very happy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews