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My happy life

by written by Rose Lagercrantz ; illustrated by Eva Eriksson ; [translated by Julia Marshall].

Publishers Weekly To understand the true meaning and value of resilience, look no further than the 20 brief chapters of this early reader, created by two longtime Swedish collaborators and beautifully translated into spare, lyrical prose. Even at a young age, Dani has seen more than her share of heartache: the best friend she meets in chapter four moves away by chapter eight ("[Dani] wished she could move, too. But she had to stay behind"), a departure that prompts the sad revelation that Dani's mother died sometime earlier. "They said she had passed away," writes Lagercrantz, "but how could a dead person pass anything? And away to where?" But as Eriksson's emotionally astute and often endearingly funny pencil drawings show, Dani does indeed have much to be happy about. She has a loving father and extended family, an unflappable teacher whose lesson plans form a wry running joke ("They had a fruit week and a vegetable week. They learned all about fruit and vegetables"), and-above all-an openness to reflection and new possibilities, big and small. Ages 6-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* Dani is eager to start school, but as she and her father approach the building, she begins to worry. Will she like her new teacher? Will she feel alone? Soon Dani and her classmate Ella become fast friends, sitting together, playing together, eating lunch together each day, and even having occasional sleepovers. When Ella moves away, Dani is forlorn, and every other hurt is magnified by her sorrow. Her father's gift of hamsters cheers her a bit, but it takes some time, reflection, correspondence with Ella, and a promised visit before Dani feels whole again. Translated from the Swedish, this simply written chapter book tenderly portrays the happiness of a child whose life is in balance, as well as the colossal, unremitting, inconsolable sorrow of one who is suffering loss. Lagercrantz mentions Dani's experiences when her mother died some years earlier, but leaves it to readers to draw the inference. The clarity and simplicity of the writing are balanced by the verve and finesse of Eriksson's captivating illustrations. Working beautifully with the text and usually given more space on the page, these sensitive ink drawings feature clean lines that express emotions through every character's stance, gesture, and expression. A quietly compelling book for young readers.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 1-3-Young Dani has what she considers a happy life, but she wonders if she will still be happy once she starts school. The butterflies subside when she meets Ella, and they are soon fast friends. When Ella moves away, Dani doesn't think she'll find happiness again, and she reflects on how unhappy she was when her mother died. The story unfolds in short chapters, with just a few sentences per page and large, plentiful, black-and-white drawings. The illustrations complement the narrative well, and will enable younger readers to feel a sense of accomplishment for tackling a lengthy chapter book. The few characters are well developed and the everyday happenings in Dani's life feel genuine, such as friendship woes and childhood fears. The difficult subjects are handled gracefully, allowing children to realize that happiness comes and goes, and that everyone has hardships to face.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.