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The Happiest Book Ever

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  643 ratings  ·  127 reviews
This highly interactive read-aloud for fans of The Book with No Pictures and other books that break the fourth wall is "wacky, zany, and downright fun." -- Kirkus Reviews

What could be happier than a book with a dancing cake, a candy parade, and a hug monster? A book with all those things (and more) plus YOU! Your happy, happy thoughts will make this book super happy happy
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  643 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Edward Sullivan
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I find the frog to be the most personally relatable character.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
No. Not another meta-fiction. And no, carrot cake is not "fake cake." And no, this book did not make me giggle or put me in a better mood. And no, I don't think we need another book about being nice to others. But then, I'm not the target audience.

Reread, cuz I saw it at the library and didn't remember it. Turns out, not worth remembering. Still two stars. It feels imposed... we're just watching Shea show & tell all this, whereas in a book like *Press Here* we actually are involved... which of c
Hilarious interactive picture book about what can constitute happiness. I just love Bob Shea, and this book strengthens my readerly affection!
The Library Lady
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A glut of reader participation books of this kind has developed recently, but I'd rather see lots of these instead of l more books that are clearly being written by adults for other adults though marketed to children. And Bob Shea can always be counted on to play to the kids. I have to differ from those who are thinking of using this for story times though--the art work is just not conducive to group use. Read it to a kid or two who can sit close to you, and enjoy it together. ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime, children
I will keep this one in mind for a feelings-themed storytime. Spoiler alert: not everyone has to be happy all the time and trying to force them act happy to make yourself more comfortable is mean! There's some good interactive bits, though the pages full of teeny tiny details might be a drawback for reading to a crowd. ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interactive picture book that invites the audience to help create the happiest book ever. The busy and enthusiastic art and text encourage energetic participation. However, there is a serious side to this story that gently reminds the reader that kindness is part of the happiness equation.
Jillian Heise
I'm not totally sure what to think of this one. The message is good, but the book is a little out there. Would like to see how kids react. ...more
Julia Frederick
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love using interactive books in storytime! Can't wait to try this one out! ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime, prek
Super cute!
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Although, my niece probably thinks I'm weird... er since I read it out loud for her, and the whole library to hear, but hey, it was ridiculous and I laughed. That's something :)
... and that frog. Haha! I believe we may be kindred spirits.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: humor, childrens, 2020
Very strange.

I suppose it has a good message, but I'm not sure if it will get through to its intended audience.

The illustration are quite busy and are incredibly random.
Baby Bookworm
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, everybody! JJ was a bit under the weather today, so we really needed a good book to cheer us up! Fortunately, our book today was The Happiest Book Ever! by Bob Shea, a wonderfully fun interactive book guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

This book is determined to be the happiest book EVER! So it’s filled itself with things that everybody loves: delicious cake, smiling clouds, hugs, a
Maria Shuffit
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book most definitely accomplished its mission - I smiled and giggled as I read it. Very cute, bright, and fun little book, and even includes a nice message about not being mean to others. It also has some interactive elements, like when the reader is asked to shake the book, that I think would make it extra fun for young readers. This adult(ish) reader certainly enjoyed it!
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
First and most important: carrot cake is TOTALLY real cake, how dare you?

Second: I'm very glad this book went where it did, because I spent the whole first half going "Geez, not everybody smiles all the time what is your DAMAGE?" and then the book caught up with me.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Seems like it would be a great read-aloud. This book begs the audience to be happy, answer questions, give the book a little shake, and oh did I mention how much toddlers and preschoolers will love the grumpy frog????
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, picture-books
There was a lot going on in this book, but it was really fun. And there are terrible jokes in the back. Terrible! Just the way I like them.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, picture-books
A funny picture book with a gentle lesson. And frog jokes! Great for four- to- six-year-olds.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what a fun book! similar to the book with no pictures, interactive and fun illustrations
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interactive books are one of those popular trends that are such a challenge for storytime. This one did well in a storytime on feelings, but there was a lot that the kids missed in the group setting. A one-on-one read would let them see all the silly details in the pictures. The group still had fun, though. Silly pictures, some interaction with the book to keep them engaged, plus all the silly voice and over-emoting that I did (it's a really good book for that!). The kids got a kick out of him s ...more
Susan Foster
What a great book! I love the happy friends. And I really love that meanness is not rewarded, and that frog can be accepted just the way he is! Be sure to look for ALL of the happy things in the book, including on the jacket art!

This might be more enjoyable one-on-one or with a small group rather than a large story time, just because of the tiny illustrations and their tiny labels. However, the text is fun enough and can be read with so much enthusiasm that it can be fun for a big group. I could
Amy Oberts
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Current trends in children's literature seem to include:

1. The author's use of "breaking the fourth wall" to tell the story; and
2. Prompting the read to "do things" to the actual book, such as shaking it, turning it, etc., to propel the story.

The clever details featured in Bob Shea's illustrations are laugh-out-loud funny (example - "Banner."), but the story wasn't executed as well as it could have been. This would be a difficult book to read aloud to a class, but it could be enjoyable to share
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, funny
I wasn't crazy about this book. It felt like it draaaagggged on foreeeeever every time I read it. But my son (nearly 5) couldn't get enough of it. The book held his attention and made him curious and full of laughter. He wasn't crazy about the interactive part so we typically skipped it and he just wanted me to read straight through. We renewed and renewed this sucker until finally I had to return it. I seriously hope he doesn't ask me to buy it though lol! because I didn't enjoy reading it. I w ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have mad love for Bob Shea, and this book did not disappoint. The only down side, really, is that it's generally too long for the storytimes I do, but today I got to read it! Only one preschooler with an extra long attention span came today (super hot, bad air quality) and so I go to read longer books, including this one. So much fun to read aloud! I hope I get to do it again someday - maybe for a school-age group. :) ...more
Ashley Adkins
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Loved the cover of this one, especially the colors. I really liked how the book spoke to the audience and was interactive. Seemed young for my boys, ages 9 and 10, but they did get a kick out of me reading it to them and doing what the book asked. I didn't love the text but I did like the interaction it brought to us readers. I also did not like how the frog "illustration" was not consistent with the rest of the illustrations. Fun for the younger reader. ...more
Primavera Olivia
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I had a great message about being kind to everyone. The characters in the book were trying to make the happiest book ever but in the process, one character began to be mean to another character. Everyone in the book became mad and upset that a character got bullied away. The mean character apologized and in the end, everyone came together to make the happiest book ever. It is a great book to share with kids to show them that you need to be nice to everyone!
Nancy Snyder
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Sharing this book with a group of preschoolers would be interesting. Especially the reader is the bully and is being mean to the grumpy frog. When the "book" has a change of heart apparently the frog also becomes happy...but why does the illustration of the frog look the same? ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute and weird is always a can't miss combination for me. As I felt a little down and vaguely sick this morning, it was something I needed to read. ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
Colorful with some aesethetically awesome mixed media illustrations.

But long, drawn out and an unsuccessful metafictive, interactive book.
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A super fun interactive book with a positive message! I love it! (Also, the frog jokes are actually funny. ;))
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute and good for story time. The book is a tad bit busy but still fun.
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Bob Shea has written and illustrated over a dozen picture books including the popular Dinosaur vs. Bedtime and the cult favorite Big Plans illustrated by Lane Smith.

His characters and animations have appeared on Nick Jr, Playhouse Disney and PBS Kids.

Bob spends his days writing, drawing and having “conversations” with NPR.

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