In her fifth children’s book, author Joanne Jeffers Veeck leaned on her decades of research and training in positive psychology to create a book aimed at teaching grade-school kids how to nurture a sense of curiosity, happiness and well-being.
“Happy – Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are,” illustrated by Jenalyn B. Ewart, features a young boy named Henry who’s bored and having a terrible day. His mom sends him outside to play (can you relate?) and to find his “happy place.” Two unexpected guests – Owl and Bee – appear, and Owl convinces Henry to play a game. We follow Henry on an adventure to unlock clues to the game, but really it is an adventure of coaxing Henry to break out of pessimistic thought patterns, to see beyond himself and help others. Unexpectedly, he finds himself feeling better.
Veeck says she wanted to write a book that “teaches our youth that they have the potential for a life filled with love and joy, no matter the time, place or circumstance.”
Given the times we’re living in, “Happy” serves as a welcome balm for all of us, children and adults alike, who likely have had more than our share of “bad days” lately.
“I read this story to my granddaughter and she was all smiles and giggles as she figured out the clues,” writes E. Lees, Ed.D., senior director of product marketing management for National Geographic Learning.
This happy book includes activity pages for kids to fill out at the end, lessons about compassion and happiness that children can return to every day.