In Search of Happiness

Overview

Who hasn't dreamed of finding the Land of Happiness?

Does it really exist? One day, Alexander decides to find out. With a very wise bird as his guide, he sets off on a long trip around the world. Full of surprises and unexpected joys, Alexander's adventure will show him the secret of happiness—a lesson he, and you, will never forget.

With illustrations from world-renowned children's illustrator Eric Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon), this ...

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Overview

Who hasn't dreamed of finding the Land of Happiness?

Does it really exist? One day, Alexander decides to find out. With a very wise bird as his guide, he sets off on a long trip around the world. Full of surprises and unexpected joys, Alexander's adventure will show him the secret of happiness—a lesson he, and you, will never forget.

With illustrations from world-renowned children's illustrator Eric Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon), this timeless tale will fill children with the beautiful message of appreciating the magic in everyday life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander's curiosity leads him from Prudence, where life is orderly and uneventful, to countries he's never dreamt of—such as the Gorge of Spoiled Ones, where children order whatever gifts they like, and the Valley of the Delighted, where he receives “so many compliments that his cheeks turned bright red.” But he misses his upright, prudent Grandpa, and Paradiso, the magical bird whose invitation spurred the journey, won't tell Alexander if they've reached the Land of Happiness yet. Large-format pages allow Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon) plenty of scope, and his evocations of each new country have a Cirque du Soleil feel: children in elflike garb play in the Glacier of the Frozen Ones; eerie, palm-studded vistas of mist and mountains stretch to the horizon. When Alexander finds himself at home again and leaves a note on Grandpa's doorstep (“the greatest happiness is here with you”), his declaration of love transforms Grandpa from a stiff old man into a bright-eyed adventurer. Saumande, in this sensitive debut, shows that it is in the search, and not the destination, that happiness lies. Ages 4–7. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 2–4—The people of Prudence were never unhappy, because they never did anything new. "They never played with their toys (for fear of breaking them). And they never went on trips (for fear of getting lost). So, as they never visited the unknown, they were never disappointed." One boy, Kalim, longs for an adventure. He ignores the advice of his grandfather, who prefers to listen to the dependable metronome. Instead he follows a songbird that promises to lead him to the Land of Happiness. They visit a variety of places, including one in which candy grows on trees, and he learns that sometimes it can be hard, sometimes too sweet, but other times delicious. Each time, he is convinced that he has reached the Land of Happiness, but the bird leads him on. At every location, he writes to his grandfather, who longs to join him but doesn't dare. Finally, Kalim realizes that happiness is not about places but about people, and he returns home. Grandfather realizes that he will be happy with Kalim even if his feet hurt and he might catch a cold, and the two go adventuring together. The message in general is a positive one, but the book falls into that limbo of picture books for which it is difficult to determine an appreciative audience. The length and subtlety of the text and the sopistication of the illustrations will be off-putting to the primary-grade crowd, and older children will avoid the format. The illustrations have a dreamlike quality, and sometimes veer into the slightly nightmarish. The book might work with older children in a venue where discussion is possible. All in all, an additional purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780841671416
  • Publisher: Hammond World Atlas Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/2/2009
  • Pages: 34
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    A joy to read

    In the land of Prudence, people are never unhappy. Rather than risk something bad happening, they simply never try anything new. But Alexander still isn't happy. When the magical bird, Paradiso, tells him about a Land of Happiness, Alexander immediately follows after him.

    Over the next year, Alexander explores places he's never dreamed about. Places where he can have good and bad sweets, where all his wishes are answered, and where he can play and get bruised and meet lots of interesting new people. Alexander is finally living a complete life.

    But one thing is missing. Alexander wishes his grandfather was with him, and he sends him lots of postcards about his adventures. He hopes maybe someday Grandpa will accompany him on his visit to the Land of Happiness.

    What child can resist the lure of happiness, when everything seems so hum-drum? But all adventures lose their appeal when we realize the important people in our lives haven't come along with us.

    Alexander's magical journey comes alive in oversize scenes by award-winning artist, Eric Puybaret. In Search of Happiness will bring joy to all who read it.

    Reviewer: Alice Berger

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