Friday, July 13, 2018

How To Grow Happiness

How to Grow Happiness: A Jerome the Gnome Adventure. Kelly DiPucchio. Illustrated by Matt Kaufenberg. 2018. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Warble flew through the Garden of Wonder into Jerome's open window. "I brought you something special today," she chirped. Jerome examined the tiny black seed resting on the window ledge. "What kind of seed is that?" asked the curious inventor. Warble smiled proudly. "It's a seed of happiness!" she declared.

Premise/plot: Jerome the Gnome trades a bit of red yarn for a seed that promises happiness. But Jerome finds that happiness isn't what he gets--not at first. He feels confused, disappointed, frustrated, even angry--but not happy. But with a little advice from each of his friends will he succeed in growing happiness after all?

My thoughts:  How To Grow Happiness is an odd little picture book without a doubt. Jerome seems to know nothing about seeds. Seeds are meant to be planted in the ground, for example, not kept in a jar in the house, not placed on a rock in the sun, not thrown into a pond, etc. Unless the seed is planted in the ground--in the soil--it cannot, will not--grow. Seeds were meant to be buried. Because the seed is not the end but the beginning. A seed cannot be rushed. It grows in its own time and season according to its kind.

Jerome is blessed with friends. And when the seed does 'grow happiness' he shares that 'happiness' with his friends. Curious as to what happiness looks like? Think watermelon.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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