Pass It On by Sophy Henn is a lovely little book about happiness, and how we can share our joy with others.
It covers the big, exciting things in life – like spotting a whale! – and the smaller things which bring joy from day-to-day like jumping in puddles.
The illustrations are fun and stylish, and the poem which forms the text of the book is nicely written, though at times, I feel like my accent works against me with the rhyme scheme and I can’t quite put my finger on why.
This is a great book to couple with those about more unpleasant feelings. If you’re looking to start a collection of stories which deal with emotions then this is definitely a nice one to keep in there. It’s easy to focus on the things a child might find difficult – sadness, anger, frustration and fear – and forget to provide examples of the more positive things in life. This isn’t a failing on our part – just a tendency to take for granted the ability to shine a light on the things that are good. I know this is something I’ve been guilty of in the past – trying to help my children navigate and accept their big feelings through stories but neglecting to remind them to celebrate the good they find along the way. I’m forever telling them that they can’t control what other people do, only their own actions and Pass It On is a really lovely reminder of the positive things that can happen when you make the decision to share what’s good in your life.
Which are your favourite books about being happy, and about sharing joy?
I sat on the fence for a long time before deciding to write about Freddie and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson and Karen George. I mean, what more is there to say about the almighty Julia? She was the first author that Son would read in lieu of the Reverend Awdry’s The Railway Series and for that alone I will be forever grateful.
What I love about Freddie and the Fairy though, is that it’s the only book that I’ve found – so far – which includes a pink fluffy fairy and a little boy.
The premise of this lovely rhyming story is simple – Freddie meets Bessie-Belle, the fairy, who offers to grant him a wish. Freddie mumbles his requests and as Bessie-Belle ‘can’t hear very well’, she misinterprets him.
Freddie’s wishes are met with lots of different rhyming alternatives, until Bessie-Belle – who has been valiantly trying to get it right all along – finally succumbs to tears of frustration. Freddie is encouraged by a more experienced fairy to speak slowly and clearly, instead of mumbling and everyone tries again. This time, Bessie-Belle gets it spot on and everyone is happy.
As I mentioned above, this is the only book I’m aware of which places a boy amongst a cast of fairies. That alone makes it awesome as far as I’m concerned… But I also really like the fact that it showed perseverance, frustration and resolution. It’s a great way of illustrating resilience, and growth mindset.
Plus, who doesn’t like super cute fairies?
Am I wrong – do you know of other books which feature little boys as the protagonists of fairy stories? I’d love to know if there are!