About the Holiday
Happiness doesn’t have to be something we plan for, schedule into our calendars, or spend money on. In fact paying attention to those little moments during each day, going on spontaneous outings with friends or family, or taking time to do a favorite activity may be all you need to feel happier every day!
My Heart Fills With Happiness
Written by Monique Gray Smith | Illustrated by Julie Flett
A little girl gazes into her mother’s eyes as she sits on her lap wrapped in a big, soft blanket. She thinks, “My heart fills with happiness when…I see the face of someone I love.” Waiting for the bannock to bake, a mother and her children huddle close around the oven surrounded by the delicious aroma that fills their hearts with joy. Singing brings its own lightness and pleasure as it fills one’s soul.
A girl lifts her face to the sky and swirls around, her dress floating with a swish as she smiles to “feel the sun dancing on [her] cheeks.” Happiness can be the tickly feeling of “walking barefoot on the grass,” the freedom of dancing, and the security of holding a loved one’s hand. Hearing stories and making music can also set hearts racing with delight. When you think about joy, what do you see? “What fills your heart with happiness?”
Monique Gray Smith’s sweet book for little ones about the various types of happiness offers readers and listeners a moment to stop and share the connection that joy brings. Whether feelings of happiness come from outside influences or from deep within, Smith encourages readers to reflect on what really makes them happy. Such awareness can inspire future activities and improve your quality of life. Smith’s lyrical phrasing and choice of pleasures will delight little ones, who will recognize each as a bond of love.
Julie Flett’s beautiful illustrations of indigenous families spending loving moments together are infused with warmth and strength. In her vignettes of the unhurried occasions that allow for profound happiness, children and adults sit together, hold hands, and wrap their arms around each other. Little ones also discover the individual joys found in a sunbeam, a blade of grass, or the abandon of dance.
My Heart Fills With Happiness would be wonderful quiet book to add to a little one’s bookshelf to start a happy day or invite sweet dreams.
Ages 2 – 4
Orca Book Publishers, 2016 | ISBN 978-1459809574
My Heart Fills With Happiness / Ni Sâkaskineh Mîyawâten Niteh Ohcih, 2018 | ISBN 978-1459820180
Discover more about Monique Gray Smith, her writing, and speaking engagements on her website!
View a gallery of books and illustration work by Julie Flett on her website!
Happiness Happens Month Activity
Happiness can happen anywhere, and you can help make someone’s day extra happy with these printable Happiness Cards. Just give them to a friend, someone in your family, or someone who looks as if they need a pick-me-up. It’ll make you feel happy too!
You can find My Heart Fills with Happiness and My Heart Fills With Happiness / Ni Sâkaskineh Mîyawâten Niteh Ohcih at these booksellers
Picture Book Review