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68

Mr. Happy

Great children's books show them how to deal with bad times.

Mr. Happy brings Mr. Miserable out of hiding, and the real world brings a smile to his face.

Full Review

Mr. Happy brings Mr. Miserable out of hiding and into the real world, where he gradually begins to smile. Mr. Miserable’s unhappiness has two possible causes: a misperception of the world &/or a misconception of life.  Hargreaves’ twofold solution is for Mr. Miserable to discover the world as a happy place, and to build a smiling attitude. If parents help build the first, their child will build the second!  “Mr. Happy” can help.

It must be noted that happiness does not arise from simply seeing the world before one.  Happiness comes with achievement and the self-esteem that achievements ought to engender.  Mr. Miserable is more of a symbol of misery, so the story does not create a context, suitable for its target age group, that Mr. Miserable can overcome.  As such, the emotions of happiness and misery are presented as states of emotion of and in themselves, rather than as a consequence of things one may control.