A Happy Place

 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
94 0
A Happy Place
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
4+
Release Date
February 06, 2024
ISBN
978-1664300392
Buy This Book
      
This enchanting picture book from award-winning author and illustrator Britta Teckentrup takes readers on a magical, moonlit adventure to inspire a child’s imagination. With peek-through pages and cutaways.

This beautiful picture book from award-winning author and illustrator Britta Teckentrup takes readers on a magical, moonlit adventure following a tiny star and invites all to dance with a host of animals. But is it all a dream? With peek-through pages and cutaways, the lyrical text and enchanting illustrations will inspire children’s imaginations.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Adventures in the Night
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
A child is having trouble falling asleep because of restless thoughts, and hears the stars beckoning through a cut work window to come outside so that they can take the child to a happy place. Traveling through the dark world, past the river and up the hills to the woods, the child is invited to dance with a squirrel, a fox, a hare, and a pair of stoats which all appear in a variety of carefully placed holes in the pages. They all dance until they are too tired, and the child returns home, able to sleep because the happy place has been found.

Good Points
Since the book is set outside at night, the illustrations are all done in dark browns and deep teals, with accents of muted oranges and yellows. The real draw here is the way the paper is cut; some of the pages are trimmed away so that the other pages show through, not just in window frame or circle shapes, but sometimes along the tops of the page (there are several where the moon stays on the top and the pages don't go all the way to the edge of the book), with some of the middle pages having only about half the paper. It's hard to explain but very striking. I can imagine the work that went into this at the press!

This was somewhat similar to Teckentrup's Moon, so she must like the idea of wandering about in the dark of the night, having adventures! Other read alikes include The Night Is for Darkness by Stutzman and Kuefler, Allen and White's Moonlight Prance, and Greig's The Night Box.

It's a beautiful book, and the illustrations are very expressive, but I found myself thinking about how easily the pages could get ripped, and looking closely to see if the child was very boots or was outside in stocking feet! That clearly misses the point, although it is important for everyone to identify a happy place. Mine is Kensington Gardens, but during the daytime, please!
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lovely book, great for a bedtime pick
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
A HAPPY PLACE is a lovely die-cut peek-through book that takes children on an adventure into the night. The story invites children to come along into the night where they observe several animals who then slowly leave before the child in the story also goes home and to sleep.

What I loved: This is a simple but lovely picture book that is perfect for bedtime. The story is simple and builds with the animals who come and go. There is no conflict but only gentle joy that works well to lull little ones to sleep. Dark colors and simple illustrations add to the sleepy feeling of the read, and its gentle but lovely nature works perfectly for a bedtime pick.

Each page features some type of peek-through cut-outs that help to build the story by revealing animals or other elements of the scenes and text. This adds a lot of interest to the read as well as some of the beauty in discovery along the way. The text has a very gentle feel when read-aloud that seems well-suited to the bedtime feeling of the book in general. This will work well for toddlers through young elementary school readers.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, some of the pages are cut very small along the middle, which can make them tough to turn and hold as you read the book. Additionally, it is not always clear which text is meant to be repeated or just stays as you go through the book - but this also allows caregivers to help determine how long they want the book to read as well, by deciding how much repetition to do.

Final verdict: A HAPPY PLACE is a lovely and soothing picture book that is perfectly suited for bedtime. Magical illustrations, well-chosen colors, and poetic text make this a delight to share with young readers.
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