Kirkus Reviews QR Code


From the Happy County series, volume 4

by Ethan Long ; illustrated by Ethan Long

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-250-76599-4
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Visit Happy County again for a year of fun.

Readers are invited back to the action-packed adventures found in Happy County in this fourth installment of the series. These titles are designed for readers who love spending hours poring over a book’s pages to spot all the wacky hijinks, and Long doesn’t disappoint with these hand-drawn, digitally tinted illustrations. The characters are a brightly colored menagerie of animal citizens waiting to usher readers into their lives. An octopus wearing a backpack and a red fez uses a crosswalk to get to school; a beaver struggles to keep up with the snow using ever larger tools; a hummingbird gardener explains pollination. Savvy caregivers will use the book’s colorful style and open-ended questions to engage their kiddos by turning this title into a multiuse tool to encourage conversation, deductive reasoning, and vocabulary building. The book bounces from topic to topic and activity to activity with a carefree brio that high-energy readers will enjoy. The range of spread design is diverse, including picture dictionary, seek-and-find, and comics panels. While some activities fall flat, there’s so much happening most readers will be amused and challenged. The seasonal approach is organizational rather than scientific, and the buoyant, Muppet-like energy will carry readers through all four of them. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Zany fun well worth repeat reads.

(Picture book. 4-6)