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If You're Happy And You Know It!


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Vibrant picture book

About the Author

Jan Ormerod is an internationally renowned author and illustrator. Lindsey Gardiner is a rising star in the picture book world; she is best known for her charming characters Poppy and Max.


Ormerod (the Miss Mouse books) and Gardiner (the Poppy and Max books) riff on a favorite children's song in what looks to be a surefire circle time favorite. An unnamed girl who brings to mind a blonde version of Gardiner's Poppy character spearheads the merriment. "One day a little girl felt happy. So she sang," begins the text. When the familiar song lyrics follow ("If you're happy and you know it, clap you hands"), eight members of the animal kingdom-fancifully rendered in buoyantly improbable colors and patterns-respond with his or her own version. "No, no, no," a patchwork puppy rejoins. "If you're happy and you know it, wave your tail-swirl, twirl!" Admitting to an unimpressive tail, a striped blue elephant suggests, "Flap your ears!" "Ridiculous!" claims a crocodile, "If you're happy and you know it, snap your teeth-snip, clip!" as he shows off a mouthful of triangular newspaper collage incisors. Gardiner varies the spreads, showcasing each animal to maximum effect: a hyena, in several spot illustrations, rolls with giggles, while a close-up of a gorilla plays up his chest-thumping girth ("boom! boom!"). The wrap-up line feels limp after the energetic lead-in; the preceding pages bubble with infectious glee. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-K-Delightful, colorful animal figures cavort through the pages of this book that puts a twist on the familiar song. It begins with a little girl singing, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." But, one by one, a different animal chimes in with his own version of the song. The brown, spotted dog wants to wag his tail. The blue-striped elephant wants to flop his ears around. The colorful toucan wants to clack his beak. On it goes, as the creatures chime in with their special ways of showing how happy they can be. The animals are utterly lovable and ultimately convince the little girl that it's OK to do her own thing and they'll do theirs. The action on each spread gives the story a great deal of energy and the backgrounds are washes of color, from dark pink to yellow to blue. From page to page and animal to animal, each verse is only partially included, so some practice is necessary in order to use it as a read-aloud/sing along. Its ultimate message and unrelenting good cheer will soon have everybody joining in on the fun.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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