Thursday, February 28, 2019

[ARC REVIEW] Your Happy Heart: How Helping Others Helps You, Too by Amie Dean (@NCYI)

Title:  Your Happy Heart: How Helping Others Helps You, Too

Author:  Amie Dean

Artist:  Susan Keeter 

Genre:  Children's / Self Esteem 

Year Published: 2018

Year Read:  2019

 National Center for Youth Issues

Source:  Physical Copy Received from Publisher

Content Rating:  Ages 4 + (Nothing Objectionable)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository

I would like to thank the National Center for Youth Issues for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I just love reading books that are given to me by the National Center for Youth Issues since they are always publishing fantastic children’s books that deal with social issues that small children will have to face.  So, I just recently got my copy of “Your Happy Heart: How Helping Others Helps You, Too” by Amie Dean, along with artwork by Susan Keeter and this book was an absolute treat to read through!

Javon, a young boy who is in the fifth grade, is happy that he has been chosen to become a Book Buddy to a young kindergartner named Richard. But unfortunately, Richard seems to have problems communicating with Javon as Richard would not say anything to Javon and would just sit there and sulk.  It was then that Javon remembered how he acted when he used to be in Ms. Sammons’ class.  He also had trouble communicating with other kids and often hit them and Ms. Sammons had to put him in the Zen Zone to calm down.  So, Javon decided to use his past experiences to help connect more with Richard and even teach him about writing down some good things about himself on a piece of paper.

Will Javon be able to get through to Richard?

Read this book to find out!

Wow!  Another fantastic book from the National Center for Youth Issues!  Amie Dean has done a fantastic job at writing this book! I always enjoyed reading children’s books that help children try to deal with their anger issues and trying to find activities that would make them happy.  I loved the way that Amie Dean wrote Javon and Richard’s relationship with each other as it shows that Javon is willing to do whatever it takes to make Richard happy, while also finding out what made Richard so upset towards other people.  It shows how much Javon himself has matured as a person as he uses the experiences he had when he was in kindergarten in order to understand Richard better.  Susan Keeter’s artwork is gorgeous to look at as all the characters and backgrounds are so realistic.  However, even though I think that the characters’ eyes look a bit too big for their heads, the artwork overall really captures the inspiration that the characters give to each other.

This is a small nitpick, but I am curious about why Richard is so upset about talking to other people. The book does not really explain about why Richard is having a hard time talking to other people and what kind of problems he has at either home or at school that would make him so antisocial.  It would have been nice if the book had explained more about Richard’s situation and why he acts so antisocial since it would help children have a better understanding about Richard’s situation and how they can deal with their own anger issues.

Overall, “Your Happy Heart” is a truly amazing book about how to deal with anger issues and is definitely a book worth reading for young children!  I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

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