Best Kids Books About Happiness

26 Kids Books About Happiness

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Augustus and His Smile book
#1
Augustus and His Smile
Written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
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.

Last Stop on Market Street book
#2
Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Pena and 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.

Shine! book
#3
Shine!
Written by Patrick McDonnell and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A shining new picture book about learning to appreciate the wonders in your world and within yourself, by New York Times bestselling author Patrick McDonnell and Naoko Stoop, creator of Red Knit Cap Girl, a New York Times Best Illustrated book Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars--and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi's friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within. With gorgeous illustrations depicting colorful underwater life, Shine! teaches about the wonders that can be found inside ourselves. Naoko's gorgeous use of plywood as the canvas for her work offers the perfect texture and pattern to evoke waves and sea currents in the underwater scenes.

Sing, Don't Cry book
#4
Sing, Don't Cry
Written and 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.

The Jar of Happiness book
#5
The Jar of Happiness
Written and illustrated by Ailsa Burrows
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How do you create happiness? In this story, one child finds a way. She mixes the smell of warm biscuits and the seaside with the taste of chocolate ice cream, apple juice and the warmth of sunshine. She fills the jar and visits her loved ones to share her invention. But one day her jar goes missing. She searches everywhere but cannot find it. As she retraces her footsteps she discovers there are many different ways to share happiness.

Hiking Day book
#6
Hiking Day
Written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Beloved author Anne Rockwell celebrates nature and the outdoors with a gorgeous new picture book about a child’s first mountain hike! A young girl and her family go hiking up a nearby mountain for the very first time. As they climb up and up the path, they see everything from a friendly toad to a prickly porcupine, tall leafy trees to tiny red berries. Anne Rockwell and her daughter, artist Lizzy Rockwell, celebrate a day the little girl will never forget, especially when she reaches the mountain’s summit. With simple, lyrical text and bright illustrations that jump off the page, Hiking Day brings the joys of spending an afternoon outdoors to life.

Joy book
#7
Joy
Written by Corrinne Averiss and illustrated by Isabelle Follath
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

The Glassmaker's Daughter book
#8
The Glassmaker's Daughter
Written by Dianne Hofmeyr and illustrated by Jane Ray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Daniela the glassmaker's daughter is grumpy and never smiles. Her father promises a beautiful glass palace to anyone who can make her laugh. People come from far and wide to try their luck in amusing Daniela. But mask makers, lion tamers and magicians cannot raise a smile from the princess. It is only when a young apprentice makes the first looking glass that Daniela learns to smile – at her own grumpy reflection! This beautiful fable set in sixteenth-century Venice features stunning illustrations from award-winning artist Jane Ray alongside a poetic text.

The Color Thief book
#9
The Color Thief
Written by Polly Peters, Andrew Fusek Peters and illustrated by Karin Littlewood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child recounts his experience of losing his father to depression in this poignant and beautifully illustrated picture book. The boy's father disappears into a world without color. As the father seeks help, color begins to reappear and with it hope. An ideal book for parents and caregivers to share with children to help them make sense of the devastating effects that depression can cause.

How to Grow Happiness book
#10
How to Grow Happiness
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Matt Kaufenberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Jerome the Gnome takes young readers on whimsical adventures through his garden, celebrating discovery and sowing the imagination as he introduces topics such as science, environmental awareness, and agriculture. In How to Grow Happiness, Jerome and his fellow Garden of Wonder dwellers—including Oakie, his pet acorn; Nutilda, a hyperactive squirrel; and Warble, a fast-talking bird—learn what it takes to make a happiness seed blossom. Through patience, asking for help, and teamwork, Jerome and his friends take a little black seed left on a windowsill and find ways to help it grow. They soon find that as it flourishes, their own happiness does too. Jerome the Gnome teaches young readers and listeners how a garden grows, as well as how a community comes together to make the experience more rewarding—and fun!

Unstoppable Max book
#11
Unstoppable Max
Written and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max is a four-year-old whirlwind who doesn't have an off switch! His socks are odd, his bedroom is chaotic, and his mind is so full of imaginative schemes that following even the simplest of instructions can end in mayhem. Max's bedtime routine, so seemingly simple, becomes a military operation for Max with many obstacles to overcome - tidying his bedroom, putting on his pyjamas, and feeding his pet goldfish! Illustrated with non-stop energy by exciting new author/illustrator, Julia Patton.

All My Treasures book
#12
All My Treasures
Written and illustrated by Jo Witek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When a girl receives a beautiful porcelain box from her grandmother, she immediately wants something special to put inside it. But what could it be? What does she love best? She loves jumping in puddles on rainy days, blowing bubbles in the park, and watching her little sister s first steps. As it turns out, life s most precious treasures cannot be contained in a box! With a gentle message about the immateriality of happiness, this story reminds us to take pleasure in everyday moments. The book is beautifully packaged with a sparkly die-cut star on the cover, and flaps throughout reveal hidden surprises. "

The Kiss book
#13
The Kiss
Written by and illustrated by Linda Sunderland, Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Edwyn blows Grandma a kiss that brings smiles, laughter and dancing! But a rich man wants the kiss all to himself – and he’ll do anything to get it!

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems book
#14
Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Anna Emilia Laitinen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hear thunder crash, feel your toes touch sand, and watch leaves drift softly away on a quiet stream. The simple poems in Breathe and Be help children learn mindfulness as they connect to the beauty of the natural world. Mindfulness teaches us how to stay calm, soothe our emotions, and appreciate the world around us. Whether we’re watching tiny colored fish darting in the water or exploring the leaves, branches, and roots of a towering tree, the thoughtful words and the lovely art of Breathe and Be remind us how much joy we can find by simply living with awareness and inner peace.

People Don't Bite People book
#15
People Don't Bite People
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s good to bite a carrot. It’s good to bite a steak. It’s bad to bite your sister! She’s not a piece of cake. Cause… People don’t bite people! That’s what this book’s about. So if you find you’re tooth-inclined— you’d better check it out!

Spin book
#16
Spin
Written by Rebecca Janni and illustrated by George Ermos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

100 Things That Make Me Happy book
#17
100 Things That Make Me Happy
Written and 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.

Because Amelia Smiled book
#18
Because Amelia Smiled
Written and 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.

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy book
#19
Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy
Written and illustrated by Bernadette Russell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

"In this book are lots of acts of kindness that kids can do to spread a little joy -- with a side order of mischief and magic!" --P. [4] of cover.

Maybe the Moon book
#20
Maybe the Moon
Written and illustrated by Frances Ives
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Maybe the Moon tells the story of Eric, a little boy who loves his life in his forest home with his animal friends for company. When he moves to the city, he sets about searching for happiness in a strange new environment. Eric's journey shows him that whatever the differences between people and places, we are all united and are never alone when we share the same moon. Frances Ives' beautiful illustrations bring to life this charming story that features a rhyming refrain to enchant both children and parents alike.

When I'm Feeling Happy book
#21
When I'm Feeling Happy
Written and illustrated by Trace Moroney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

The Feelings Series are beautifully produced picture books that cover different emotional concepts for young children. The Feeling series is especially designed to help children better understand their feelings and how to identify, manage and express those feelings in an appropriate and acceptable way - both to themselves and others. These books provide an invaluable tool to help build confidence, self-esteem and contribute to a healthy emotional foundation upon which children can thrive.

The Fox on the Swing book
#22
The Fox on the Swing
Written by Evelina Daciutè and illustrated by Ausra Kiudulaite
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Once upon a time a boy called Paul lived in a treehouse with his mother and father. One day a fox appeared in Paul's life - and when a fox comes into your life, Anything can happen. This sensitive story about friendship, dreams and happiness was written by Evelina Daciute and illustrated by Ausra Kiudulaite. It tells the story of Paul and the fox, whom he encounters one day when out buying bread for the family, and how their relationship begins, develops and shifts as life forces change on them both. The book's themes are friendship, change, loss and the importance of seeking happiness in the little things of life

The Christmas Eve Tree book
#23
The Christmas Eve Tree
Written by Delia Huddy and illustrated by Emily Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In a deeply moving story with the hallmarks of a classic, a homeless boy's rescue of a spindly Christmas tree sparks a glimmer of hope that has far-reaching effects. It's late on Christmas Eve, and the little fir tree is the only tree left in the shop. What a poor thing I am, it thinks. But then a young boy enters the store, drawn in from the damp by the warmth and lights and the wonderful smell of Christmas, and he doesn't seem to mind that the scrawny tree isn't tall and straight like the others. . . . This magical story, beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton, captures an unexpected and unforgettable moment of happiness that brings a whole city together.

Miles of Smiles book
#24
Miles of Smiles
Written by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by Luciano Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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!

Dave's Cave book
#25
Dave's Cave
Written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Dave loves his cave. The inside is decorated exactly the way he likes it. But what if there's a better cave out there? Dave needs to find out for himself. This humorous romp from a celebrated author-illustrator reminds readers that sometimes there's no place like home. Full color.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.