Operation Happy by Jenni L Walsh

Inspiring – Pre-Order Today, due out 2nd April 2024

Operation Happy by Jenni L Walsh is an inspiring historical children’s novel that I read in just one sitting. It is perfect for ages eight to twelve years, although anyone who loves history would enjoy this book.

The book begins in 1938 but it’s main focus is the terrible events of Pearl Harbour in December 1941. The whole book revolves around this date. The action is seen through the eyes of marine dog Happy, and the daughter of a marine, Jody, whose father is posted to Pearl Harbour in 1940.

This is a powerful read as the war is presented through the eyes of a child. It is written in a way that young readers can understand without absolutely terrifying them. There is just enough detail without being too graphic.

Happy is retired from active marine life when he is given to Jody one Christmas. Happy is losing his 20 20 vision and growing older. His name is very apt. “It’s … near impossible not to look at you [Happy] and smile.” He is a loyal dog whose nature is happy. “It feels like an eternity has passed between saying goodbye to Gordon and hello to Jody.”

Happy takes his responsibilities very seriously. Jenni Walsh has the skill to put herself in Happy’s shoes as we see some events through his eyes. We learn how he is guided by his nose. He can smell fear and he can smell happiness. He also has the ability to instinctively know when something is wrong.

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Ebony The Cat by Frances Ive

Just Purrfect

Ebony The Cat by Frances Ive is a charming tale and just perfect for ages eight and over. This is a cat-lovers delight.

Ebony The Cat is told from the point of view of Ebony. This enables us to see the world as she sees it. We can help our children to understand why cats behave as they do. Often fear is a motivating factor. We hear about her life as a stray cat after her owners dumped her, and her search for a new home.

Life is hard as a stray cat. There are so many dangers to look out for. Life within a house can be confusing too.

Throughout the novel there are fun facts about cats in comparison with humans and dogs. You can be educated as well as entertained.

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Bus Rhymes & Playtime by Sue Wickstead

All Aboard

Bus Rhymes And Playtime by Sue Wickstead is another absolutely beautiful offering for the under sevens, from this talented author.

I always know that when I pick up a book by Sue Wickstead, I am going to be enchanted. Each page is packed full of detail, from the rhymes to the illustrations. Each page gives you opportunity for discussion with your children. No quick glances here – delve deeply into the illustrations.

Bus Rhymes And Playtime includes characters from other Sue Wickstead books. If you and your child are familiar with the author’s previous offerings, you will find it a pure delight to meet up with familiar faces.

The rhymes are short and snappy with a bounce-along rhythm. Within no time at all, your child will be able to join in with the words.

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If I Were Invisible by Lily Lawson

Easily Relatable

If I Were Invisible by Lily Lawson is a charming book for the under fives.

The whole book is simply constructed in rhyme, making it easy for our children to join in. Each page prompts a discussion with our children – would you like to be invisible? Why? Or why not?

We see the importance of family and friends.

The whole book is simply illustrated by Gustyawan. There is so much detail within each page. It is easy to relate to the main character.

This is a really fun book that would enhance any child’s personal library. I think every early years classroom should have a copy too.

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