Mies Van Hout’s Happy explores feelings by illustrating one word – brave, surprised, proud, angry – with lively pastels of unusual-looking fish. The book is engaging and the simple structure makes it easy to discuss with children some interesting questions about feelings and emotions.
What is an emotion? Are emotions and feelings the same? Do the illustrations represent the feelings corresponding to them on the page? Do our expressions always indicate our feelings? Can we have more than one of these feelings simultaneously? If we’re brave, can we also be shocked? If we’re angry, can we also be delighted? How do we know the fish are feeling the emotions represented?