Happy: A Song of Joy and Thanks for Little Ones, based on Psalm 92 – Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago

Happy: A Song of Joy and Thanks for Little Ones, Based on Psalm 92 by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Jago
Also by this author: Little One, We Knew You'd Come, Near: Psalm 139, Known: Psalm 139, Strong: Psalm 1
Published by Zonderkidz on June 6, 2023
Genres: Children's
Buy on Amazon

Inspired by Psalm 92, Happy’s lyrical text celebrates all that God gives his children and the joy found in giving him gratitude. From the author of the bestselling The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones, and the award-winning illustrator Jago, comes an uplifting board book that encourages even the smallest believer to share in God’s great love for them.

All through the day I give my happy songs to you. Happy reminds children to be grateful to God for his many gifts and his Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

Happy is perfect for babies and infants ages 0-4 and features:

lyrical text inspired by Psalm 92
a joyful message that God gives us great gifts for which we can be eternally grateful
a padded cover that is a perfect fit for little hands
beautiful, colorful illustrations that area great gift for a new baby, First Communion, or birthday

This board book is part of a series related to The Jesus Storybook Bible. In each of these books, Sally Lloyd-Jones paraphrases a passage from the Bible, and soft, gentle illustrations from Jago show diverse children experiencing the world around them. I really like Know and Near, two other books from this series, but Happy does not hold up to the previous standard. This new board book is supposedly based on Psalm 92, but it bears very little resemblance to the source material. Like the psalm, this book emphasizes thanking God for his blessings, but the content and wording are totally different. This isn’t a paraphrase or an adaptation; the text is just vaguely inspired by some concepts in Psalm 92.

Much of the book feels like filler, with multiple consecutive pages featuring a single sentence like, “The rain that rains.” There’s nothing wrong with the lines themselves, but they begin to feel choppy instead of poetic, and these simple statements take up the bulk of the book. The illustrations are nice, but the text doesn’t convey much meaning for kids or the adults reading with them. Also, two pages at the beginning are missing commas. This book feels phoned in, and the lack of quality is disappointing because this represents Scripture. This board book would be better off as a thankfulness book without any claim that it’s related to Psalm 92.

Happy: A Song of Joy and Thanks for Little Ones has some nice elements, but I would mainly only recommend this for people who feel very invested in the series and want to own the complete set. As a standalone book, this isn’t particularly impressive, and because it doesn’t paraphrase or represent Psalm 92 in a meaningful way, there is nothing to make it stand out from better books about thankfulness or the blessings of nature.