9781459809574_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
3 ratings
list price: $10.95
also available: eBook
category: Children's Fiction
published: Mar 2016
publisher: Orca Book Publishers

My Heart Fills With Happiness

by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett

tagged: emotions & feelings, native canadian

The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.
International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happiness to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.

About the Authors
Monique Gray Smith is a mixed–heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry. She is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Monique and her family are blessed to live on Lkwungen territory in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.moniquegraysmith.com.

Julie Flett estudió Bellas Artes en la Universidad Concordia en Montreal y la Universidad Emily Carr de Arte + Diseño; en Vancouver. Ha ganado tres veces el Premio de literatura infantil ilustrado Christie Harris y ha recibido un Premio Gobernador General de literatura infantil. Es de ascendencia Cree-Métis y actualmente vive en Vancouver.
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
0 to 2
Reading age:
0 to 2
  • Short-listed, Indigenous Literature Award
  • Commended, Global Read Aloud
  • Commended, Girls of Summer Reading List
  • Winner, Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
Editorial Reviews

"An excellent board book for every baby Canadian."

— The Toronto Star

"It is a fantastic toddler book that celebrates family and heritage and would be valuable in any collection, especially those of First Nations heritage."

— Raising Mom blog

? "Joyful and tender, this board book celebrates the activities that bring gladness through family and cultural connections...Flett’s quietly powerful gouache and digital collage illustrations emphasize the relationships between people...The sweet family story has universal appeal. A first purchase for all libraries."

— School Library Journal, starred review

“A comforting board book offers young children the opportunity for reflection, and for affirmation, too. Moments of happiness tucked into each and every day celebrated here include time with family, self-expression, and the natural world."

— Cooperative Children’s Book Center

“ "A quiet loveliness, sense of gratitude, and—yes—happiness emanate from this tender celebration of simple pleasures, which features a cast of First Nations children and adults...Short, first-person phrases...revel in both solitary and familial activities...Flett’s (Little You) crisp-edged paintings blend universal and culturally specific experiences."

— Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[A] light, warm and utterly charming book...Highly recommended for families, parents of young children to share with them and to begin conversation and sharing about emotions."

— Resource Links

"A board book that leaves you feeling cheerful and appreciative of those small moments in life that bring one joy. Recommended."

— CM Magazine

"Specific visuals ground this sweet celebration of simple pleasures."

— Kirkus Reviews

"A celebration of aboriginal culture...but also universal in its message: sometimes it's the simplest things that lift our spirits highest...[The book] is beautiful in both its appearance and its intention."

— Quill & Quire

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My Heart Fills with Happiness

Beautifully illustrated board book with short sentences that could be a great gift for new parents. This book could also be read aloud in the primary classes to show Indigenous representation and used as a prompt for sharing connections and writing about what fills their hearts with happiness.

Top  Grade
Librarian review

My Heart Fills With Happiness

International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happiness to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.

What fills your heart with happiness? This simple board book explores the question using pictures and words to show happiness in a young First Nations girls’ world. Personal narratives can be drawn from the text and images. The book can also be used for drama exploration by having the students create tableaux of scenes represented in the book, as well as to invent images of what happiness means to them.

Author available for school visits @ltldrum

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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