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Happy Sad by Pippa Goodhart

I'm thrilled to be joining the other bloggers on the blog tour of Happy Sad written by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Augusta Kirkwood.


This gorgeous picture book tells the story of a young boy called Toby who finds a mermaid in a rock pool. Not knowing what to do with her, he takes her home and tries everything he can to make her happy and feel at home.

However, whenever he asks her if she is happy, she replies: "I'm happy sad."

This book explores the emotions of being happy but also missing something which causes a slight sadness. I love the premise of this book and the way it highlights that you can at times feel two conflicting emotions, and that it is absolutely fine to feel this way. The way Toby perseveres in order to find a solution to the mermaid's problems is commendable and shows children that if at first you don't succeed try a different way. It also highlights that actually sometimes no matter how hard you try you cannot make someone else happy.

The illustrations fill the page with bright splashes of colour, complimenting the story beautifully. You get a real feel of the movements of the sea and the emotions of the different characters.

I love it when Toby truly gets to understand the 'happy sad' emotion as the mermaid asks him to come live with her so that their friendship can continue, but having to leave his family behind is something Toby is not willing to do. I'm sure young readers will be able to empathise with both Toby and the mermaid and the situations they find themselves in. They may even reflect on a time when they too felt happy sad.

Many thanks to Little Door Books for inviting me to join the blog tour. This is a wonderful picture book to share with EYFS children and those in Key Stage One.

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