So Happy!

by Kevin Henkes and Anita Lobel

Through words and pictures, three divergent storylines converge in a picture book... read more

Through words and pictures, three divergent storylines converge in a picture book fantasy featuring a magic seed, a little boy, and a small rabbit. “The seed was thirsty. The rabbit was lost. The boy was bored.” But change is in the air when rains finally come. The seed begins to grow and a creek begins to swell, trapping the frantic rabbit on one side, and inspiring the boy to do something as he eagerly begins to build a bridge across the water (which the rabbit then uses) and picks the gigantic flower that has grown from the magic seed. Kevin Henkes’s spare storyline is told in simple, declarative sentences that create a gentle momentum (“The creek ran like a faucet.” “The sun sparkled and shone.”). Henkes left plenty of room for the imagination of illustrator Anita Lobel, who chose to place the story in a setting that looks as if it could be Mexico in another century. Lobel’s art adds wonderful visual details that turn the book into a story about the boy’s family as well. Overall, there is a folkloric feel to this picture book that can engage young readers and listeners, who will want to comment on what they observe. (Ages 4–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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