One week until Christmas. I am feeling a little overwhelmed and spent today, how about you? No better day than to introduce a delightful, lift-the-spirit kind of book! A story about a sweet girl who longs to bring the sparkle and joy back to her dear Nanna’s face, but struggles to collect all the special moments in her kit. Be cheered and delighted with Joy by Corrinne Averiss & Isabelle Follath, 2018.

What is it about?

“Fern loved Nanna.” There are so many things for Fern to love about Nanna, but the best thing was her smile. Lately though, Fern was noticing that Nanna didn’t have that smile much anymore and the special things about her interests and her home that use to be kind of magic, were dulling and dusty.

Fern notes the change to her mom and learns about joy: “what makes your heart happy and your eyes twinkle.” She is determined to track down Nanna’s joy and bring it back. She puts together a catching kit and hunts for the best places with lots of joy. And as she delights in things she sees, she tries to capture the magic in her catching kit. But nothing works, she just can’t capture all the joy. She is very sad when she tells Nanna of her attempted hunt, and is surprised by Nanna’s response about what truly brings her the most joy.

Why I picked it

I adore tender books like this. Fern is an excellent character: bold, big-hearted, and observant. I love her thoughtfulness and her love for her Nanna. I also love her very practical ideas of what kinds of things cause joy and trying to gift that to her Nanna.

And, I deeply love the illustrations of this book. Isabelle Follath’s characters are so cute and charming! I lover her color pallette and her use of tone and color to express the thoughts and emotions of the characters. This book is calm and sweet; but also active, creative, and endearing!

Who will love this?

This is a wonderful book for teaching kindness and thoughtfulness. Any age would delight and connect with this. The older you are, the more teary you’ll get from the story. And though the story is slower and more simple, the use of sudden bold color and dramatic “joy” spurting from things is so captivating. I just love this book.

Bonus Gift Pairings

Yet another book that does a lovely job describing how little to nothing we need in life to be content and joy-filled. I would pair this with a fun catching net and some butterfly figures. You could even make some cupcakes to put them on like Nanna would! Happy reading!

Hope you are enjoying all these sweet new finds! See you tomorrow for the next book from this year in my 25 Days of Favorite New Picture Books countdown!