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Choosing Cheeriness: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about choosing cheeriness?

We all tell our children that happiness is a choice, and here are the books to help you prove it! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite 30 books that exemplify choosing cheeriness, because this lesson is never too early to learn, and you can never have too many reminders. It’s hard to learn to regulate your emotions (just ask any two-year-old!), and if we’re being honest, it’s something we’re even mastering as adults. These books are great way to learn and reinforce the knowledge that we control our emotions, no matter our circumstances. To quote Leo Tolstoy, “If you want to be happy, be.”

Top 10 Books About Choosing Cheeriness

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Wonder book
#2
Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

The Pout-Pout Fish book
#3
The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

As the pout-pout fish swims along in the ocean, he discovers that being glum and spreading the “dreary wearies” isn’t much fun anymore—especially when his true destiny is revealed!

Be Happy! book
#4
Be Happy!
Written & illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A great introduction to the idea that happiness isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you make for yourself with your actions and your attitude. It’s geared towards a little older crowd than my 18 month old son, but by adding a little discussion about what’s happening with the dog and mouse on each page we both enjoy it, and it’s honestly a great reminder for me as a mom to be mindful about CHOOSING to be happy.

board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Monica Sheehan has taken her bestselling book be happy. and created an irresistible little gem for people BIG & small. So open it up and get inspired to . . .

Sing and dance a little! Have fun! Be kind—be brave! And be the best YOU.

Bernice Gets Carried Away book
#5
Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is amazing and I love it so much! The illustrations are beyond phenomenal—gorgeous, wonderfully detailed, and absolutely expressive— and the message that happiness is a choice and best achieved by having empathy for others and helping and sharing with others is fantastic. This is definitely a favorite.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go.

Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend’s birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it’s warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party…and she brightens lots of other animals’ days on her way.

Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

Augustus and His Smile book
#6
Augustus and His Smile
Written & illustrated by Catherine Rayner
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this sweet, meaningful book about a tiger who finds that there is joy all around him and that he can find happiness just by choosing to be aware! Such a good reminder for the reader. He goes on a fun adventure to learn this lesson, and I love the illustrations of this book, too!

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. So he did a HUGE tigery stretch, and set off to find it. Stunning illustrations celebrate the beauty of the world and the simple happiness it brings to us. An imaginative book for children who love to explore the world around them.

The Best Bear in All the World book
#7
The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders, Brian Sibley, and Paul Bright & illustrated by Mark Burgess
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) Plus, I was surprised by how high quality this book is! The illustrations throughout are also gorgeous.

chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

How to Cheer Up Dad book
#8
How to Cheer Up Dad
Written & illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious book about parent and child relationships for fans of Ian Falconer and Jon Agee–a perfect gift idea for Father’s Day and beyond!

Little Jumbo just can’t understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn’t be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take–after all, Little Jumbo’s dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad’s bad day around with some of his–ahem, his dad’s–favorite things.

How to Cheer up Dad is a standout debut featuring a charmingly oblivious little elephant with serious pluck and staying power. It turns the parent-child roles upside down is a great book for dads and the kids who make them laugh.

Last Stop on Market Street book
#9
Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Pena & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book
#10
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Written by Carol McCloud & illustrated by David Messing
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a fantastic job of just laying it all on the table so it’s super simple and easy to understand how to make others happy, and, in turn, how it makes you happy. :) I love the message of this book and I actually love how explanatory it is, even though that’s not my usual style. There are even specific examples given. I also think the visual aid of the buckets is a great way to teach kids this concept! But any book that teaches you how to make others happy and yourself happy is a winner in my book!

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

“Children are not the only ones that need to learn how to be truly happy. It’s all in the bucket, that invisible bucket that follows you everywhere… teaches young readers valuable lessons about giving, sharing, and caring. This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. It’s an important lesson to teach and remind us all . . . that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a happier place for everyone, including ourselves. A classic tale, beautifully told and beautifully shared.” —Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other’s buckets by what we say and what we do. When you’re a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be! This 32-page picture book is perfect for children, parents, grandparents, teachers and people that want to teach empathy, nurture kindness and create a positive environment in their home, classroom, workplace and community.

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Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Helping Others

Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is amazing and I love it so much! The illustrations are beyond phenomenal—gorgeous, wonderfully detailed, and absolutely expressive— and the message that happiness is a choice and best achieved by having empathy for others and helping and sharing with others is fantastic. This is definitely a favorite.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go.

Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend’s birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it’s warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party…and she brightens lots of other animals’ days on her way.

Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

How to Cheer Up Dad
Written & illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious book about parent and child relationships for fans of Ian Falconer and Jon Agee–a perfect gift idea for Father’s Day and beyond!

Little Jumbo just can’t understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn’t be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take–after all, Little Jumbo’s dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad’s bad day around with some of his–ahem, his dad’s–favorite things.

How to Cheer up Dad is a standout debut featuring a charmingly oblivious little elephant with serious pluck and staying power. It turns the parent-child roles upside down is a great book for dads and the kids who make them laugh.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Written by Carol McCloud & illustrated by David Messing
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a fantastic job of just laying it all on the table so it’s super simple and easy to understand how to make others happy, and, in turn, how it makes you happy. :) I love the message of this book and I actually love how explanatory it is, even though that’s not my usual style. There are even specific examples given. I also think the visual aid of the buckets is a great way to teach kids this concept! But any book that teaches you how to make others happy and yourself happy is a winner in my book!

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

“Children are not the only ones that need to learn how to be truly happy. It’s all in the bucket, that invisible bucket that follows you everywhere… teaches young readers valuable lessons about giving, sharing, and caring. This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. It’s an important lesson to teach and remind us all . . . that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a happier place for everyone, including ourselves. A classic tale, beautifully told and beautifully shared.” —Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other’s buckets by what we say and what we do. When you’re a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be! This 32-page picture book is perfect for children, parents, grandparents, teachers and people that want to teach empathy, nurture kindness and create a positive environment in their home, classroom, workplace and community.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Little Engine That Could - B is for Bookworm - I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone loves this classic book with a can-do message for littles and adults! I love that the little engine shows perseverance, even when things are hard, and believing in yourself. It’s such a great example of having a positive attitude, and that we are in charge of our thoughts and choose what we feel. :)

  2. Joy - Fern’s Nanna has not been herself of late. And when Mom remarks that all the joy seems to have gone out of her life, Fern decides to fetch the joy back. With a net, a box, and a bag to help her, she begins her search for joy. A wonderful and uplifting story that is guaranteed to bring joy to every reader.

  3. Pass It on - Here’s a fun idea: When you laugh or smile–pass it on! A story about giving, sharing, and joy. When you see something terrific, smile a smile and pass it on! If you chance upon a chuckle, hee hee hee and pass it on. Should you spot a thing of wonder, jump for joy and pass it on! So begins Sophy Henn’s ode to the excitement of sharing happiness with others. With a refrain that begs to be uttered before every turn of the page, children will eagerly read alongside their parents as they discover how wonderful–and fun!–it is to share the good things in life. After all, if you spread happiness to others, even on a gray, rainy day, when you least expect it, like a bolt out of the blue, a smile or a chuckle might be passed right back to you! This heartwarming, upbeat book is the perfect way to bring a warm ray of sunshine into every reader’s life.

  4. Miles of Smiles - When someone smiles, who knows where it goes? Baby smiles at Mommy, Mom keeps it for a while . . . and then passes it on. As the smile begins its joyful journey—moving from a first-grade class to a soccer team, from Gran to a garbage man, even to a puppy—it spreads happiness throughout the community, bringing everyone together. A sunny picture book guaranteed to make kids SMILE!

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Self-esteem

Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

Be Happy!
Written & illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A great introduction to the idea that happiness isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you make for yourself with your actions and your attitude. It’s geared towards a little older crowd than my 18 month old son, but by adding a little discussion about what’s happening with the dog and mouse on each page we both enjoy it, and it’s honestly a great reminder for me as a mom to be mindful about CHOOSING to be happy.

board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Monica Sheehan has taken her bestselling book be happy. and created an irresistible little gem for people BIG & small. So open it up and get inspired to . . .

Sing and dance a little! Have fun! Be kind—be brave! And be the best YOU.

Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands
Written & illustrated by Tamara Levitt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Trying—and failing—can be a path to happiness too. Leela loves to do yoga. She could do all sorts of poses, but there was one pose she couldn’t do. Every time Leela tried to do a headstand…KERPLUNK! This book explores the themes of acceptance, resilience, and self-compassion and offers the message that just because we may experience a failure does not mean that we are a failure. Written as a counterpoint to the message of The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands is a story about a girl who tries her best, but still falls down. Through the process she learns that happiness is not determined by external achievement. Even in the face of failure, peace can be found if we accept that we cannot do everything and focus on our experience.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Spin - As she rides her bike up and down steep slopes, a little girl reminds herself that if she just keeps moving she will eventually climb her mountain.

  2. Do Not Go in There - Do Not Go in There! is an encouraging picture book from debut author Ariel Horn and illustrator Izzy Burton that highlights the power of imagination while touching on themes of anxiety, curiosity, and bravery. Monsters Morton and Bogart are best friends. But they don’t always see eye to eye. So when they encounter a closed door, anxious Bogart wants to keep it closed, because there must be something really bad on the other side. But Morton thinks it’ll be something amazing! Which is it? Through bright, expressive illustrations, readers learn that, while not knowing can be frightening, being brave can lead to new discoveries. And even though your imagination can make it easy to worry, it can also make life better, less scary, and more fun. An Imprint Book

  3. Kindergarten Luck - What makes a lucky day?
    One gloomy morning, Theodore found a bright, shiny penny on the way down to breakfast. There was Abraham Lincoln, face up. What luck! “Oh THANK you, Mr. Famous President!” Theodore said. And he tucked that shiny, new penny in his pocket.
    Follow Theodore through a day bursting with the simple joys and endless verve of young children—a reminder of how much luck abounds in the world, and how sometimes, it’s just waiting to be found.

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Friendship

The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

As the pout-pout fish swims along in the ocean, he discovers that being glum and spreading the “dreary wearies” isn’t much fun anymore—especially when his true destiny is revealed!

Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy?
Written & illustrated by Ralph Cosentino
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Discover all the little things that make the Kitty Cones happy in this sweet book of illustrations from Ralph Cosentino. Life is full of happy moments, from playing on the beach to chasing rainbows, and even running outside when it sprinkles! Join best friends Miyu, Yumi, and Koko as they discover what makes them happy. Filled with clever and endearing art from author and illustrator Ralph Cosentino, this Kitty Cones book teaches kids to value friendship, help others, and enjoy the little things in life.

Snow Lane
Written by Josie Angelini
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fifth grader Annie is just like every other girl in her small suburban town. Except she’s starting to realize that she isn’t.

Annie is the youngest of nine children. Instead of being condemned to the bottom of the pecking order, she wants to carve out place for herself in the world. But it’s hard to find your destiny when the only thing you’re good at is being cheerful. Annie is learning that it’s difficult to be Annie, period, and not just because her clothes are worn-out hand-me-downs, and she suffers from a crippling case of dyslexia, but also because there are secrets in her life no one in her family is willing to face.

In Snow Lane, Josie Angelini presents a story about a resilient girl who, in spite of many hardships, can still find light in the darkest of places.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Grin & Bear it: The Wit and Wisdom of Corduroy - Adventurous, imaginative, and always optimistic, Corduroy offers up wit and wisdom that will bring a little bit of sunshine to readers of all ages. Since Corduroy’s first publication in 1968, this adventuresome stuffed animal has been delighting readers of all ages. Now America’s favorite teddy bear is here to share with you fifty years of his accumulated wit and wisdom, all in one adorable little book. Charming and inspirational, this is the perfect gift for graduation, or any other occasion when you might need a little confidence boost.

  2. A Perfect Day - A seagull and a crab find friendship and compromise in this sweet and humorous story about the meaning of perfection. The sky is blue, the sun is warm, the breeze is cool—it’s a perfect day for Seagull, perched on a rock in the sea. That is, until crabby Crab comes along and points out all of the day’s flaws! There’s a cloud in the sky, a smelly boat in the distance, and the rock that they’re sitting on is covered in barnacles. In this sweet and funny story about finding happiness amidst flaws, Seagull and Crab learn that nothing is more perfect than spending time with friends.

  3. Rain! - Good attitudecanchase away the blues at any age!Now in aboard book format for more rainy day reading. “

  4. Good News, Bad News - While on a picnic, Bunny and Mouse see everything that happens to them from opposite points of view—Bunny sees only the good, while Mouse sees only the bad.

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Family

Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Pena & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

Sing, Don't Cry
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once a year, Abuelo comes from Mexico to visit his family. He brings his guitar, his music—and his memories. In this story inspired by the life of Apolinar Navarrete Diaz—author Angela Dominguez’s grandfather and a successful mariachi musician—Abuelo and his grandchildren sing through the bad times and the good. Lifting their voices and their spirits, they realize that true happiness comes from singing together.

My Heart Fills with Happiness
Written by Monique Gray Smith & illustrated by Julie Flett
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A board book that celebrates happiness and invites children to reflect on the little things in life that bring them joy.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Annie - B is for Bookworm - Even though sometimes “it’s a hard-knock life,” Annie shows that you can choose to be happy and believe “the sun will come out tomorrow!”

  2. The Breaking News - When devastating news rattles a little girl’s community, she struggles to know how to cope. Her normally attentive parents are suddenly exhausted and distracted, and nothing she does seems to cheer them up. At school, her teacher tells her to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small thing instead… and then another, and another? Those small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.Both timely and timeless, this beautifully illustrated picture book from debut author/illustrator Sarah Lynne Reul touches on the themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

  3. What I Like Most - In a lyrical story by Mary Murphy, gorgeously illustrated by award-winning artist Zhu Cheng-Liang, a child offers an ode to her favorite things — and people. What I like most in the world is my window. This morning, through my window, I see the postman at the red gate. . . . A little girl observes, one by one, things that give her pleasure — the apricot jam on her toast, the light-up shoes that make her feet bounce, the sparkling river, the pencil whose color comes out like a ribbon. But even after the jar becomes empty, and the shoes grow too small, and the pencil is all used up, one thing will never change. In a tenderly imagined story, Mary Murphy celebrates the intimacy of the bond between mother and child, while Zhu Cheng-Liang’s wonderfully inviting artwork brings the day-to-day details to life.

  4. Looking for Yesterday - If yesterday was the best day ever, wouldn’t it be great to find a way to repeat it? A whimsical tale about happiness with sure appeal for science-minded kids — and wise grandparents — everywhere. What could beat yesterday’s perfect day at the fair? Maybe nothing, one boy thinks, and he wishes he could go back and do it again. So he puts all his scientific knowledge to work, from stars to time machines to wormholes (is it possible he could find one in his garden?). He thinks that maybe Grandad could help him. But Grandad, in sharing some memories from his own past, reminds him that every new day brings the chance of a new adventure. With quirky illustrations imparting a sense of wonder, Alison Jay takes a fanciful look at being content in the here and now.

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Feelings And Emotions

I'm Grumpy
Written by Jennifer L. Holm & illustrated by Matthew Holm
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This cute board book does a great job talking about emotions, and grumpy cloud shows that sometimes it’s easy to get down in a funk! I love the ending where he chooses to be kind and happy to make sunny feel better, and I think that shows a great lesson about how we can choose to do something nice for someone—which will make us happy, and get us out of the dumps!

board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This board book explores why Grumpy Cloud is grumpy.

It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon
Written & illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Lost balloons. Melted ice cream. Babysitters.

Life as a kid can be pretty daunting. But don’t let these troubles get you down. With the right attitude, a hurdle can become a hammock and an obstacle can become an opportunity!

Veteran picture book creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka teaches kids to look on the bright side of things. With lively illustrations and spot-on humor, It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon champions resilience and helps children navigate childhood indignities while making them laugh at the same time.

100 Things That Make Me Happy
Written & illustrated by Amy Schwartz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In the grand tradition of “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” comes an uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating. The list, in rhyming couplets, draws directly from a preschool­er’s world—from slippery floors to dinosaurs, from goldfish to a birthday wish. Amy Schwartz weaves a masterful balance between art and text, with each of the 100 items portrayed as its own well-observed and warmly detailed vignette. While the contents provide readers with a frame of reference for the quantity of “100”—a celebratory milestone in preschools and early elementary grades—the oversized pages envelop young children in the wonderful things surrounding them.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Terrific - When grumpy Eugene wins a free cruise to Bermuda, he thinks he knows just what to expect: a really nasty sunburn. But instead, after a shipwreck, he finds himself stranded on a tiny island with no one—except for a parrot with a busted wing. “Terrific,” says Eugene. “What good is a parrot?” It turns out a parrot is good for a lot, including planning a very elaborate escape. And when the castaways are rescued by a team of fishermen, it’s Eugene’s turn to be kind to his new friend.

  2. Theo's Mood - It’s Mood Monday and Miss Cady’s class is sharing how they feel after the weekend. But Theo doesn’t know whether he’s in a good mood or a bad mood. He has a new baby sister and he isn’t just happy like Eric who got a new bike or sad like April who lost her dog. As Theo’s classmates discuss all their feelings, he realizes he’s not in a good mood or a bad mood—he’s all those things!

  3. Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass - When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

  4. Sunny - Most people would say there is nothing good about trudging to school on a rainy day. Most people would say that being carried away by the wind and dropped into the middle of a tumultuous sea is a very bad sort of situation. No, most people wouldn’t like that at all. But Sunny isn’t most people. Sunny likes to look on the bright side. And when things get exceedingly bleak? Well, isn’t that what friends are for? From debut author/artist Celia Krampien comes an unforgettable, transcendent story about the true power of optimism.

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Animals

The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders, Brian Sibley, and Paul Bright & illustrated by Mark Burgess
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) Plus, I was surprised by how high quality this book is! The illustrations throughout are also gorgeous.

chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

The Wrong Side of the Bed
Written by Lisa Bakos & illustrated by Anna Raff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, there’s just no getting around it: The porcupine under the covers will insist on snuggling (oww); penguins will make bubbles in your bath (eww); and a crocodile will probably need to borrow your toothbrush (no, thanks). It’s just going to be that sort of day.

Unless, that is, you decide to do something about it.

A whimsical assortment of havoc-wreaking critters is here to inspire Lucy—and readers—to turn their all-wrong days into all-right ones.

What's Wrong, Little Pookie?
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Uh-oh, Pookie is NOT happy in this kind-of-cranky board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Oh, sweet little Pookie! Your bright eyes are wet. Come over and tell me why you are upset. When Pookie feels down, Pookie’s mom can always guess what’s wrong with her little one. Or can she? With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this turn-that-frown-upside-down story proves that every Little Pookie loves a reason to smile.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Grumpy Pants - Have you ever had a grumpy day and not known why? Penguin is having a grumpy day like that. No matter what he does, he just can’t shake it! Sometimes the only thing left to do is wash the grumpy day away and start over. The simple text and lively illustrations are the perfect cure for even the grumpiest of days.

  2. Kat Writes a Song - Kat writes a song to make things better on a gray and rainy day. After perfecting her magic song, she sings it out loud, and to her surprise, the rainy clouds go away! Kat is so pleased that she goes around her neighborhood singing her magic song. Will her song be able to help her friends too?

  3. Ginny Louise and the School Showdown - The Truman Elementary Troublemakers are a bad bunch. Especially these three: Cap’n Catastrophe, Destructo Dude, and Make-My-Day May. But they are no match for Ginny Louise, the new hedgehog in school. Her unwavering cheerfulness in the face of their bullying will make young readers holler with glee. Full of rhymes, wordplay, and comic misunderstanding, this book will lend itself well to reading aloud as well as discussions about peer dynamics.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Choosing Cheeriness and Social Themes

Because Amelia Smiled
Written & illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A little girl’s smile as she skips down the street inspires a neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, and the good will she shares soon spreads around the world. From the creator of the Caldecott Honor-winning Interrupting Chicken.

Olivia
Written & illustrated by Ian Falconer
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It’s everyone’s favorite pig…it’s OLIVIA! The Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times #1 bestseller is now available in a sturdy format perfect for pig-loving toddlers everywhere!

Joy: A Celebration of Mindfulness
Written & illustrated by Katie Wilson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This book takes a playful approach to finding joy in our daily lives and features the many ways children can experience happiness. From finding joy in stories to finding joy in quiet time, readers will recognize the moments and actions that put a smile on their face.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Why Worry? - Told through soft, gorgeous color illustrations, Why Worry is a gentle story of two friends swept into the unpredictable wilderness and how, despite feeling anxiety and worries, they find peace and calmness together. Once upon a time there were two good friends, Cricket and Grasshopper. Cricket always worried. Grasshopper never did. Cricket and Grasshopper go on a high-flying, wild adventure and encounter a large crow, a hungry fish, powerful winds, and more. But while Grasshopper is having the time of her life, Cricket can’t help but worry if they’ll be safe, where they’re going, and how they’ll return home. Though the two have differing perspectives, Grasshopper and Cricket find support in each other through acceptance and patience. Originally published in 1979, Why Worry? is a soothing tale that teaches understanding and empathy of people who experience anxiety, and how to support and alleviate those worries.

  2. Mr. Sherman's Cloud - It’s the little things that can turn a bad day into a better one. One morning, Sherman’s bad mood takes the form of a literal rain cloud, soaking him and making his mood―and the weather―worse. An unexpected encounter with imaginative children helps Mr. Sherman find the silver lining to his cloud and brightens his day, turning his outlook from pessimism into optimism. The expressive graphic art creates an eye-catching and meaningful story. Readers will be empathetic to Sherman’s woes and uplifted when reminded that the sun does eventually come out again after the rain.

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