Bottle of Happiness by Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi. Tiny Owl, 9781910328552, 2019
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? What a wonderful message about the value of happiness! In this story we see two villages — one on one side of a mountain and one on the other. On one side, the people were very wealthy because they had many wonderful resources and could catch fish, mine for jewels, and grow crops. On the other side of the mountain, resources were scarce and these people did not have material goods but they did have laughter, music, dancing, and they all shared what they had. One day, a little boy named Pim wanted to see what was on the other side of the mountain. When he crossed over, he immediately noticed all the wealth and riches of this side. In exchange for some fruit, Pim offered to bottle the joy and happiness from his side of the mountain and give it to the other side. This actually worked and now the two sides share their resources together.
This is such a wonderful story to open up discussion about what it means to be happy — is it really about material possessions or is it something else. Also, the quirky illustrations provided by Ehsan Abdollahi add a special feature to this story–a little odd but I think children will really enjoy the bold colors and geometric designs.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of four and seven.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone that works with children between the ages of four and seven.
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer Kristin Guay, former youth librarian
Date of review: September 9, 2019