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My Happy Life (Dunia #1)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  328 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She's happy because she's she's going to start school. Dani has been waiting to go to school her whole life. Then things get even better - she meets Ella by the swings. After that, Dani and Ella do everything together. But then somethings happens that Dani isn't prepared for.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Gecko (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 604)
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Dorcas
This book is soooo cute!

Although "My Happy Life" is a chapter book, the chapters are short and packed full of illustrations. The story is
written from the viewpoint of a little girl just starting kindergarten. She lives with her Dad (her mother has passed away) and she likes to count the things that make her happy.

The story follows her through the summer with her Dad, waiting with eager anticipation for school to start, then the nervous terror when school finally arrives, followed by her first
...more
Wanda
16 DEC 2013 -- Beautifully told story of a little girl, Dani, and her happy life. Whenever Dani was sad, she simply counted the times she has been happy in her life, and she was not sad any longer. A very good story for teaching children (and reminding adults) to maintain a positive outlook on life and enjoy what they have right now. I, like, Dani, will count my happy times whenever I find myself unable to fall asleep or find myself feeling sad.

P.S. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to re
...more
Jane G Meyer
There's something about the Scandinavian psyche that I must appreciate. From Elsa Beskow, to Astrid Lindgren, to Bodil Bredsdorff... All of these authors write material that I connect with, and that I think add to the body of really healthy and inspiring children's literature.

This book is beautifully designed and produced. A lovely thing to hold. The story is simple, but like "Eidi," that is a big part of its charm. A young girl longs for a friend, finds one, and then the friend moves away. As t
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David Redden
Mary (6 years old): Ok, go. I liked it when she met Ella. And I also liked it when she got the hamsters, and I like how her friend named her hamster Partyboy! Anything else you liked about it? I liked it when they were all like, No! I'm not going to leave you! I'm not going to leave you! What do you think was the point of the book? I think the moral of the story is um, if your best friend moves away and your mom dies you can still be happy. Anything you didn't like about the book? I didn't reall ...more
Bridget
Oh it is just the cutest thing. Love the illustrations and the production of this book. Another winner from Gecko.
Aiyana Martinez
To start off this book my first assumption was that it was going to be about a young girl who tells us little things in her life that make her happy. It turned out to be about her happy life but by telling a story and telling us what made her happy and what made her mad. This story about a young girls life takes a turn for the worse when something that doesn't make her so happy is something she is not yet ready for. During the transition she is having during her new experience of not being happy ...more
Susan P
In this sweet short chapter book translated from the Swedish, a little girl named Dani is starting school. She is excited because she's been waiting a long time for this momentous day, but also nervous because she doesn't have a friend. On the second day of school as she is standing alone on the playground watching the other children play, Dani notices another girl doing the same thing. The two go play on the swings until the bell rings and thus their friendship is cemented. They enjoy many happ ...more
Jennifer
I read this book in both Swedish and English. I love this series, and so do the kids. I found some of the English translations to be clumpy, though it's probably not anything a non-Swedish speaker would notice. Swedish is just such a great language for children's literature and certain phrases or words don't translate as charmingly. I think I actually liked the second book better, but that might be because I read it first. In Mitt lyckliga liv we get to know Dunne, who is always searching for ha ...more
Heidi
If I could describe this book in just one word it would be: GENUINE. It feels so real. Dani seems so much like a real child with real fears and hopes. When Dani and Ella become friends they behave exactly like many of the children that I actually know. Like all of us, Dani and Ella have their ups and downs as well as personal struggles. Still, Dani remains happy until something happens that is truly devastating and then everything seems to go wrong. Can she find her happy again? While this seems ...more
Trish
This would make a great one-on-one read aloud or beginning chapter book for reading on one's own. There are only a few lines of text on most pages, complemented by lively black and white drawings that help to tell the story. It comes to us from Sweden, but has been translated in a way that makes it easily accessible by American children. Not every day is happy, but Dani counts her happy days when she can't get to sleep at night. It is especially hard to go to sleep before her first day of school ...more
Monica Babaian
My Happy Life is a very sweet story about a young girl named Dani and her day-to-day life. Although Dani has dealt with the loss of her mother, nervousness about starting school, and loneliness after her best friend moves away, Dani still remembers her many happy days.

The story opens with Dani being too excited to sleep the night before her first day of school. The next day she is nervous and feeling a little insecure about going to school. She wonders if she will make any friends at school and
...more
Desirée
My Happy Life is about what happiness means and what it doesn't. About friendship and longing and how to fall asleep when you can't. It melted my heart.

A great book for kids who have recently learned to read - but not too recently. They should be fluent enough to concentrate on a story while reading. In order to help them do that, there's just a sentence or two on many pages, and the illustrations (very lovely and kind of retro, I would expect that kind of illustration in an Astrid Lindgren book
...more
Kate
Jan 27, 2015 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: k-2nd grade
A delightful and sweet beginning chapter book with realistic depiction of starting and being at school, making friends, and being sad when your friend moves. Black and white illustrations are on every page to help tell the story. There are signs that the book was translated into English (I have yet to meet a kindergartner who would say "Shall we play on the swings?") but I'm glad it was because this is an excellent addition to begining chapter books. Dani, the main character, is delightful and I ...more
Carissa
This story seems light and fluffy at first, but then the best friend moves away (SAD! TEARS!) and then you learn about the main character's mother's death (also sad, but told through the lens of retrospective toddlerhood, so somewhat less sharp), but it still somehow manages to maintain a fairly upbeat tone? Odd. Sprinkled with cute illustrations throughout and not too much text on each page. I liked how instead of counting sheep, the protagonist decides to count "all the times she'd been happy. ...more
Kristin
The perfect early reader encapsulates the importance of the ordinary in the life of a child. In fact, the perfect story encapsulates the ordinary in the life a person of any age. This is a short, illustrated, early chapter book for ages 6 to 8, about the emotions a little girl experiences upon starting school and meeting her best friend. Dani is so happy she can't describe it, but when her best friend moves away, she becomes forlorn and is unsure whether she will recover from such a profound los ...more
Lisa
This little book is a terrific first chapter book for young readers. I started reading it and thought uh-oh, this is going to be too simplistic or sappy. I didn't think it was going to be a realistic type of book.

There are many, short chapters in this book, and by the 2nd chapter I knew my first reaction was wrong! The language is simple enough for beginning chapter book readers, but not overly simplistic. The storyline is real. This is a book all about new experiences, making friends, losing th
...more
Sabrina
I got this book from netgalley and really enjoyed it, i'm currently doing a primary teaching degree and i am encouraged to read childrens books, find ones i like so i can read it to the classes i teach, this is why i requested this book.

I really enjoyed this even as an adult, the illistrations were adorable and everyone can relate to the story at some point. It shows how strong friendships can be, it shows there are always happy times even when everything around is sad. it carefully explains los
...more
Caren
This is another book I saw recommended on a blog from a British mother. It was originally published in Sweden, then translated into English and published in New Zealand. It is a very, very sweet first chapter book. It reminded me a tiny bit of the Ivy and Bean books, but is much simpler. This would be a first step after easy readers with very short chapters and lots of illustrations. The story is about Dani's (short for 'Daniela')first venture to school and her first real friendship. The book be ...more
Sharon Tyler
My Happy Life by Rose Lagercrantz is a sweet story about a young girl named Dani who counts the things that make her happy rather than sheep to help herself fall asleep at night. Some of her favorite things include starting school, swapping bookmarks, and breaking her jump-roping record. She has faced sad times, such as when her mother died in the past, and the hurdle of her best friend moving away in the timeline of the book. However, even when Dani is facing life changes and hurdles, she works ...more
. اليازية خليفة
على الرغم من أن الكاتبة تناقش في هذه القصة قضية كبيرة وهي قضية الموت والفراق، مع فئة القراء الأطفال، إلا أنها عرضت فكرتها ببساطة ونجحت في ذلك، الشخصية الرئيسة في القصة هي دونا(دنيا) فتاة تعيش مع والدها، الذي صورته الكاتبة على أنه شخص مسؤول مهتم ومحب لابنته وعلاقته ممتازة معها، كما لم يرد ذكر أمها إلا بعد فترة مما يجعل الطفل يتساءل عن الأم وهو ينظر إلى رسمات القصة التي تجمع دونا بوالدها فقط.

ذُكِرت الأم في القصة بعد أهم حدث، وهو فراق دونا لصديقتها التي انتقلت عنها إلى مدينة أخرى، فشرحت الكاتبة من
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Emilia P
I thought this would be nothing much exciting in particular -- just a nice little story of a little girl starting school, splashing through puddles, enjoy cutesy litle girl things. But! What! Wait! Dani's mother died when she was little, her best friend is moving away, and she's accidentally smacking her classmates in the front teeth! There's plenty in life to be sad about, this book makes clear, but there's so much to be happy for, thankful about, and ways to actively choose to make your life b ...more
Sarah
Jun 16, 2013 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Sometimes you start reading a book and know immediately that it is something very special. Reading the opening page of My Happy Life, with its illustration of Dani, lying worrying in bed is one of those revelatory moments.

This wonderful story needs to be in every school library and read by every child – yes, it’s THAT good. The story is a simple biography of Dani, who starts school, makes a friend and then loses her when she moves away. But it perfectly captures the roller coaster ride of childr
...more
Linda
This book for younger readers was first published in Sweden. In the flyleaf, Rose says she writes stories for her friend Eva to illustrate. Eva doesn’t know the story until Rose is finished, and Eva doesn’t know what the illustrations will be like until they are completed. It sounds as if they are quite popular in Sweden. It was a sweet book about Ella, a girl just starting school, whose mother has died, which is treated rather practically, and who doesn’t know anyone at this school. Finally, El ...more
Martha
Aug 20, 2013 Martha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elyssa
This unique title is unusually sophisticated and refreshing for its young chapter book audience. Dani is starting first grade and has many of the same worries as Kevin Henkes' memorable Wemberly in Wemberly Worried. However, the comparison stops there because Dani does have real challenges. Her mother passed away which she often thinks about, and when she makes a best friend on the first day of school, after awhile the friend moves away. With the help of a caring and clever teacher and a warm re ...more
Phoebe
Dani counts her happy times when trying to fall asleep, and she is in general an upbeat, positive child, despite having lost her mother to illness early on. She is especially thrilled to start school, but longs to make a friend. She notices another little girl called Ella who stands and watches too, and they become best friends. This simple book explores friendship and its ups and downs, as well as school and family life, as seen through the eyes of a young child. Its foreign flavor adds to the ...more
Keeko
A very special book. After I read it, my husband read it, and liked it too. It's a beautiful, sweet, and loving story. I love the gentle humor and realness of the characters. I'm glad I found it.

And I'm so glad I posted it to Goodreads because that's how I found out that this is a series, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this team.
Kim T.
I found My Happy Life to be an interesting book. What I liked about it...the illustrations, the short chapters, the introduction of the single parent home, the inclusion of content related to the different types of loss, and the consistent flow of language related to focusing on expressing emotions. What I found to be a bit of a challenge...the quick shifts in the story. Some chapters flowed easily into the next, but others jumped so quickly that I was kind of at a loss.
This book gets a half an
...more
Betsy
Early chapter books are so much fun!! This one straddles the line between easy reader and early chapter book--sort of like The Mercy Watson Collection Volume I: #1: Mercy Watson to the Rescue; #2: Mercy Watson Goes For a Ride. There are pictures on every page like an easy reader, but the text is more sophisticated than a book like Henry and Mudge: The First Book, the book is longer, and the plot more complex. A great read and a great fit for 1st-2nd graders.
Judy Ekblad
What a great transitional short chapter book. Can't wait to share it with my second grade granddaughter who loves the Bink and Gollie series by DiCamillo. Lovely messages, kid-friendly, and a very simple friendship story with line-drawing illustrations. Bonus is that the author and illustrator are Swedish!
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
Formatting: The formatting in this e-book was generally fine.

Content: I liked this book. It was cute. I think it was a realistic portrayal of a child having to grow up and realize that not everything in life is going to make you happy and then trying to cope with that fact.
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