Oh, Were They Ever Happy!
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Oh, Were They Ever Happy!

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  20 reviews
One Saturday morning while their parents are away, the three Noonan children decide to paint the house.
Paperback, 42 pages
Published 1978 by Doubleday
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This book has been around for awhile and I can see why! It's the sort of story that parents and children will read and enjoy together--yet both will get something different out of it. When the parents in this story leave to run errands all day, the baby sitter fails to show up and the kids decide to "help" Mom and Dad by painting the house for them (a task Mom and Dad both planned to do). And, oh my, are they creative and exuberant in their color schemes and quite thorough in their paint job! Th...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 25, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children, as long as the paint cans are locked away
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Pure fun! Three very good, obedient, resourceful, and helpful children decide to do a needed chore when their parents leave for the day and the babysitter doesn’t show up. The children, their dog, their cat, their tools, the bathroom (the children are so good they do clean up after themselves) and oh yes, the house they’re painting all get very colorful, the house and the property in particular. The illustrations are very, very, very colorful. I know children who will feel gleeful as the story p...more
Tracy Poff
This review also appears on my blog.

The three Noonan children, mistakenly left at home without a babysitter, decide to spend their day helping out by painting the house. Oh, won't their parents be happy!


Peter Spier's Oh, Were They Ever Happy! follows the children from beginning ("I do not know who thought of it first, but there was plenty of paint in the garage.") to end ("Sure looks swell! Won't they be happy when they come home and see what we've done!"). As the children go along, they gradua...more
Bambini Travel
New books are wonderful...I love discovering new talented authors and watching children's literature evolve. On the other hand, every now and then I discover an older book that is timeless and delightful and I just have to share. This is a book that one of my children randomly pulled off the shelf at the library one afternoon. It is the colorful story of three siblings who are left at home and decide to help their parents out by painting the house. Their messy and outrageous painting style remin...more
Shanna Gonzalez
This story brings us another episode in the Noonan family, who also appear in Spier's later books Christmas and Rain. Before their parents leave the children at home to run errands for the day, Mrs. Noonan remarks to her husband that the house needs painting. When the babysitter never arrives, the three children decide to surprise their parents by painting the house themselves. Opportunistically gathering up a large collection of half-filled paint cans from the garage, they set to work painting...more
I always get a wonderful reaction from the group when this book is read aloud, especially by the adults in attendance. I would have given the book 5 stars, but it does bother me that the parents in this book, leave their children before the babysitter arrives. I guess there wouldn't be a premise for the action in this book otherwise. The children listening to this book love to watch for the cat and dog in this story as it unfolds. Many giggles during this read, that I have used for years.
This is a picture book that is really for adults since the humor can't be appreciated by most children. It's a delightful story of children wanting to help their parents by painting the house. As can easily be imagined, the results are quite interesting!
I found this on my parents book shelf as I was reading books to the kids. This is a book that fascinated me when I was a kid. The pictures are great and the story is mischievous...the only problem is that I am afraid I will give Cy too many ideas.
I re-read this the other day and it's still good. A highly quotable story, and very relevant to anyone who as a child decided to "help" and/or those who are now parents and suffer through the same thing on the other end now.
Teresa B
This is another of this amazing author-illustrator's DELIGHTFUL stories that you simply MUST read with your young children!!!!! (If you don't have any young ones, borrow a niece, nephew, or a neighbor.)
Mommy says: Great illustrations, which is what you would expect from Peter Spier. And a great tale about some very, very helpful children whose babysitter does not show up! (Note to self: LOCK UP THE PAINT!)
Betty Kim
The children paint the house to help their parents when they are out to run their errands. The children paint the house with different colors. It shows creativity for the use of the color.
As opposed to Spier's other books I love that are a visual feast, this one made me squirm. The babysitter never shows up!? The kids paint the house like a Pollack?!
One of my all time favorites from childhood.

"I don't know who thought of it first, but there was plenty of paint in the garage..."
Jen Lindberg
Exactly what every child dreams of doing, but would never even dare! And every parent's nightmare. Funny, funny, funny.
Keidra Polite
I learned that children can be more creative than adults. This book teaches you to be proud of your work.
Evelyn Saenz
The children were just trying to help out and please their parents the day they painted the house.
A great book. Another one not to show your kids! 8-)
My favorite book as a child!
Best book ever
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James Kirkpatrick
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