My Heart is Laughing, by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson

cv_my_heart_is_laughingAvailable now from bookstores nationwide.

The cover alone would make anyone, child or adult want to pick up this gorgeous chapter book, two young girls with side splitting grins,a loopy tree and bananas, could not be more enticing.

Happiness however is not the total sum of this book, Dani is struggling to be happy because her best friend Ella has moved away, leaving her lonely and out of sorts, not sure exactly where she will fit in especially at school, where Dani tries awfully hard to keep Ella’s absence as only temporary.

We journey with Dani through pain, loss, grief, anger, confusion and bullying. Dani’s loss manifests itself in frustration and its companion…the temper tantrum rears it’s head and are spectacular and actually understandable.

The book isn’t gloomy and there is some delightful humour and a wonderful sense of adventure surrounds Dani and Ella’s relationship.

The characters in this book deserve a special mention, they are very well drawn and if not always nice, they are interesting and this combined with the illustrations, which are simply divine and so realistic make this a very engaging and relatable story, illustrations that match a story are not always seen but in this case they are just right for the situation they are illustrating.

As always Gecko Press have done a great job, my only query would be the age-appropriateness of this book…my experience tells me that the nuances of this book would go over the heads of anybody under 7-8 years of age.

My heart is laughing is suitable for both girls and boys and the issues raised in the book and the way they are handled make it particularly good for a small group/classroom reading and discussion situation, it would also be a good read for any child struggling with life issues and would also suit a situation where a concerned parent needs a discussion opener.

Reviewed by Marion Dreadon

My Heart is Laughing
by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson, translated by Julia Marshall
Published by Gecko Press
ISBN 9781877579516