The Happiest Kid

Written by Sarah Bagley Steele, illustrated by Elsa Pui Si Lo and Clarice Yunyi Cai

What’s the happiest kid supposed to do when she wakes up not feeling happy? A reassuring picture book debut about recognizing sadness and talking about big feelings.

Sally is usually the happiest kid. She wakes up every morning with a bright sun shining over her bed, and she knows it’s going to be a good day. But one day she wakes up feeling different and there’s a gloomy cloud hanging over her instead. She doesn’t know why it’s there, but she doesn’t want anyone to see it—not her parents, not her teacher, and not her friends—so she hides it away. But as the day goes on, the cloud grows too big and heavy for her to carry, and Sally must find the courage to let it out. In this sweet story, Sarah Bagley Steele, Elsa Pu Si Lo, and Clarice Cai offer a gentle reminder that everyone feels sad sometimes, and that’s okay.

  • Format: Jacketed Hardcover
  • Pages: 40
  • Size: 8.1 X 10.6
  • Price: $14.99
  • Age Range: 4-8 years
  • Publication Date: Mar. 15, 2022
  • ISBN: 978-1-953458-08-7

What to Expect:

  • Promotes social-emotional intelligence—young readers will learn alongside Sally how to recognize and process the feeling of sadness.
  • Reassuring—this story normalizes feeling sad and talking about emotions with others, instead of trying to hide them.
  • Showcases the value of different perspectives—Sally’s sadness manifests as a gray cloud, which she initially sees as a scary thing, but eventually she and her friend find interesting shapes in the clouds, like castles and dragons.

Author Bios:

After a career producing theater, Sarah Bagley Steele turned her attention to her own writing and fell in love with the wonder of children’s books. When not writing stories, Sarah loves devising inventive activities for kids. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, and rascal puppy.

Elsa Pu Si Lo is an illustrator from Macau, China. She has a master’s degree in Children’s Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art. As an animal lover, Elsa enjoys using gouache, crayons, and ink to create animal characters that are fun, funny, and full of energy.

Clarice Yunyi Cai is an artist based in Tokyo, Japan who does oil and experimental painting. When not working on her art, she is pursuing a PhD at Musashino Art University.

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