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I'm Not Happy

I'm Not Happy

4.5 2
by Sue Graves, Desideria Guicciardini (Illustrator)

All children have days when they just don't feel happy. Follow along as Ben helps cheer up his friends and shows how kids can turn sadness into smiles. 

Our Emotions and Behavior series
The Our Emotions and Behavior series uses cheerful brightly illustrated stories to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related


All children have days when they just don't feel happy. Follow along as Ben helps cheer up his friends and shows how kids can turn sadness into smiles. 

Our Emotions and Behavior series
The Our Emotions and Behavior series uses cheerful brightly illustrated stories to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related—and how they can learn to manage both. At the end of each book, a two-page series of pictures invites kids to tell a story in their own words. A special section for adults suggests discussion questions and ideas for guiding children to talk about their feelings.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"These are excellent titles for children who need help expressing their feelings and they will be a bonus in any guidance counselor’s arsenal." — School Library Journal

“Exuberant color illustrations bring to life simple stories about ordinary children interacting with their friends at school or at play. . . .The Our Emotions and Behavior series is enthusiastically recommended for parents as well as school and library children’s collections.”—Midwest Book Review

“Titles in the series capture the big emotions that all kids feel. The stories are perfect for young readers.”—Imagination Soup

“The books would be helpful for teaching children [the concepts of rules, sharing, fears, and sadness] as well as beginning a dialogue with children about them. Teachers and school counselors will want to consider adding these to their library as they will undoubtedly be a good resource in classrooms.”—Chris Singer, BookDads.com

“The Our Emotions and Behavior series offer[s] young children and their caregivers help with hard-to-manage feelings and inappropriate actions . . . The simple texts are direct, and the endings are consistently upbeat . . . These purposeful books will be useful in many libraries.”—Booklist

Children's Literature - Paula K. Zeller
The premise of this story—part of the "Our Emotions and Behavior" series—is that children can cheer up others as well as themselves in the face of unhappiness. The lead character, Ben, visits his friend Amir, who is unhappy that his truck is broken. After Ben helps Amir fix his truck, Amir is very happy. Later, when Ben plays soccer with Tim and Lucy, Mike takes Tim's ball. Seeing that Tim is upset, Mike returns the ball, and all happily play soccer together. Next, Ben sees Molly, who is sad because her dog, Max, is lost. Ben helps Molly and her mother look for Max until Ben's mother comes to take him to Grandma's. Ben is unhappy because his mother makes him wear the big, scratchy sweater Grandma made for him. Grandma, on the other hand, is so "delighted" to see Ben in his sweater that Ben feels happy, too. When Ben shares that Molly is "miserable" over her missing dog, Grandma helps Ben make and put up posters. A man sees the posters and then sees Max, whom he delivers to Ben's house. Max is reunited with Molly and her family, and everyone is happy. This title, like others in the series, includes a four-panel wordless story to stimulate thought and discussion, as well as an adult guide with pre- and post-reading activities and discussion questions. The illustrations are humorous and engaging, and the simple, lively text wisely includes sophisticated emotion words. The book perhaps tries to cover too much ground—for example, discussion points in the adult guide include the importance of apologizing, and strategies to overcome "shyness or loneliness that can lead to unhappiness." What is missing is that we cannot always fix others' problems or make them feel better. Reviewer: Paula K. Zeller

Product Details

Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Our Emotions and Behavior
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Sue Graves is a former teacher and a published author. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children from preschool to high school. Sue is married and has four children and two grandchildren. She loves playing golf, painting watercolors, and walking in the countryside around her home in England.

Desideria Guicciardini was born in Florence, Italy. She illustrated her first children's book in 1977 and likes illustrating stories set in the past or in fantastic make-believe worlds. She lives in Milan, Italy, with her husband and two sons.

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I'm Not Happy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Mymcbooks More than 1 year ago
We welcome another great picture book series from Free Spirit Publishing called "Our Emotions and Behaviors" by Sue Graves. These wonderful books will help young children with the help of their parents understand and recognize their feelings and behavioral actions with themselves and others. I'm Not Happy. The story is about helping others who feel unhappy. Meet Ben a boy who doesn't like to see his friends say and unhappy. He goes out of his way to help them fix broken toys; help Molly find her lost dog. Then it was time for Ben to visit his grandmother and his mother told him to wear the sweater his grandmother made for him, Ben wasn't happy at all as the sweater was too big and scratchy. When he saw that his grandmother was delighted to see him in the sweater it made Ben feel happy too. This book is about exploring ways we can help others feel better when they are sad. The last page of the book gives positive ideas to children on how to deal with sadness and strategies for overcoming things that make children unhappy. I highly recommend this book for parents and classroom teaching. The illustrations are simple and show each of the character feels and emotions about what is happening in each story. FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from free spirit publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.
DebraLScott More than 1 year ago
I'm Not Happy (Our Emotions and Behavior Series) By Sue Graves, Illustrations by Desideria Guicciardini Review by Debra L Scott I'm Not Happy is one of a new four-book series from Free Spirit Publishing called "Our Emotions and Behaviors". The other books in the series are: Not Fair, Won't Share, But Why Can't I? , and Who Feels Scared? Ben finds that his friends are sad, upset, angry and worried. He also feels unhappy himself. Ben does simple things that fix the problems that beset his friends, but can't fix his own problem. But as it turns out, the very thing that makes him unhappy makes his Grandma very happy, so that makes him happy in response. I'm Not Happy is a great little book exploring how simple it can be to find a remedy for the little upsets in life. More importantly, it shows how one child can be helpful to another to make them happy. It also shows that sometimes it's not a thing that will make you happy again, but the happiness of another. Children at this age level are just starting to learn how to pick up on the feelings of others and how they can actually do something that makes a difference. It may take a bit of work, like the posters he makes to help his friend find her lost dog, or it may take a lot of courage, like standing up to a bully on his friend's behalf. And sometimes it just means lending a helping hand. There are a couple places that aren't clear. When Mike took Tim's ball, it doesn't say why Mike decides to give it back except that he 'felt bad'. I wonder if the author intended Mike to figure this out on his own, or if she meant that Ben, the hero, said something to Mike to encourage him to give it back. The other place is at the very end, where someone returns the lost dog to Ben instead of to Molly. Those are minor errors, but they may be picked up on by a bright child. The teacher/parent would do well to be aware of them and have an answer ready. After the story, there is a two page story board without words describing a similar situation. Children are encouraged to talk about what is happening in the pictures and answer questions about it. Following this is a teacher/parent guide to the book with tips on how to discuss the issues presented and gives suggested topics for discussion. The vocabulary of the story is suitable for young readers to sound out by themselves, but not the included instructions which are intended solely for the adult. The illustrations are expressive and simple so that it is easy to see how each character feels about what is happening.