Mariano’s book is half wordless graphic novel and half craft and activity book. It’s unique combination that manages to be fun without seeming too much like a “Book for Educational Purposes.” Each chapter is a story, usually with a gentle moral or lesson to be learned, and that story is followed by Happyloo @ Home which features suggestions for activities that follow up on the story. What makes those activities work is that Mariano varies them nicely. He offers information about things that happened in the story, such as telling readers how thunderstorms happen after Tickle and Koolie have an adventure in the clouds. He also gives writing prompts and discussion questions on topics such as achieving your goals, cheating, and “what happens next in the story.” He gives ideas for craft projects and shows pictures from art or nature that tie in with the story and which are to be used as inspiration for the reader’s own crafts and stories.
There are a few weaknesses that keep this from being an excellent selection…..
Happyloo: friends, foes, and fun
My Pal Mark, April 2009