Explore happiness with children using this amazing book!

There is nothing more incredible than watching children explore language and imagery to develop an understanding of the sometimes difficult concept of emotion. 

This book, free for parents and teachers, is a story that invites you to find the mysterious places where happiness might be waiting for you. You won’t have too look too far… happiness is hiding right inside you. The story shows two children finding the keys to happiness in the small moments of their everyday life.

When combined with our new lesson plans, kids have the chance to delve further into the meaning of the text and consider how it relates to their world. Activities are designed to be fun and mindful, using the concepts of the text to create engaging learning.

Activities cover Early Learning through to Year 6, and include Arts, English and Science curriculum links.  

About the book and the authors:

Where Happiness Hides is a picture book by Anthony Bertini, with illustrations by Jennifer Goldsmith. It shows the silver lining in every dark cloud. Bertini himself explains the project beautifully:

“This book will offer hope. It will be free to everyone in the world to read and enjoy as many times as they want. Yes, it is a children’s picture-book, and the story reflects what we tell our children every day: happiness can be found in simple things. But it is more than that. It is something we tell ourselves in times of hardship and worry. It is a story that helps all of us remember what is important.

“Right now, COVID-19 is forcing us to look for joy and happiness in the least obvious places. We know in our hearts that it is found in the small things. It is always there, hidden in plain sight.”

Where Happiness Hides offers us, through simple and succinct storytelling, a reminder of how these moments of happiness can be found.  

 

Early Learning:

As Far As I Can See –
Early Learning

From the moment we wake in the morning to the moment we close our eyes at night, our eyes see so much – from smooth, pleasing tones to jarring contrasts. So much of how we feel is learned through sight.

Let’s look at things up close, isolating images. 

Broken Eggs –
Early Learning

“Petals drop, Paths crack, Bridges creak, Wind howls, Rivers flood. Still, happiness is found in little things.” 

If it’s broken, eat it! This is not always the exact science, but when it comes to eggs it’s perfect. An egg has so much potential to bring happiness, so let’s see how many we can find. 

Chasing Shadows – 
Early Learning

“Candles that light the way upstairs, Shadows dancing.” 

Shadows dance, shadows move. Over the course of a day, it seems like the sun moves from its rising place, all the way overhead, to its setting place. But did you know it’s actually us on Earth who move around the sun?

Secret Tunnels – 
Early Learning

“Crabs running over rocks. The first bite. Secret Tunnels.” 

Tunnels lead to wondrous places, maybe caves, mountains, or beaches… to clearer skies and rainbows. Humans make tunnels to shorten the path around the mountain, for trains, for cars and bicycles too.

       
   

Shiny Memories –
Early Learning

“Happiness hides in little things.” 

“Buried treasure. A box of shiny things.” 

Boxes can hold many different types of collections. Different items (shiny or not shiny) remind us of different people. Let’s collect objects that remind us of our loved ones. 

Tickles on Your Arm –
Early Learning
 

Feeling the wind in your hair can be the most excellent of feelings. You can’t see it but it announces its presence in so many different ways, sometimes soft and wispy, sometimes wild and fierce.

But what else is there to feel? To take away one sensory feeling is to enhance the others. 

   

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Primary School:

Make Your Own Happiness 
Foundation – Year 2

“Sometimes ice-cream melts.
Still, happiness is found in little things.

Storms pass. Puddles beckon”

Let’s make our own happiness.

Making Faces –
Year 1

Sometimes we express our feelings with our body, not our words.

It’s important to know how to read body language as well as reading words, so we can understand one another. 

Find Happiness Hiding in Little Things –
Year 1

What is a little thing that makes you happy? The kids in the book Where Happiness Hides find happiness in things like a big bowl of warm soup, and the smell of rain.

Draw yourself enjoying your little happiness, and write about why it makes you happy.

Silent Movies –
Year 2

Did you know the very first movies didn’t have sound or colour like the movies we watch today? You had to watch the pictures closely to figure out what was going on! Use your imagination to make the boy and girl in the book Where Happiness Hides into more complete characters by making up their conversations based on the pictures.

       

Emotions Poem –
Year 2

“Happiness hides in…”
Good poets often use repetition and rhyme to make their poems fun to read and listen to.

Think about what makes you happy and use the provided poem structure to become a famous poet yourself!

Book Review –
Year 3

People often look up reviews of books to see whether they will like the book before buying it.

Reviewing books is a very important and difficult job, as you have to effectively communicate many ideas about the book to the audience.

A Dog’s Point of View –
Year 3

Usually we follow the main characters through a story, seeing what they see and feeling what they feel.

But what if we followed a different character? Would they see and feel different things? 

Imagery Analysis –
Year 4

Put on your best beret as you become a serious art critic, analysing how the illustrator of Where Happiness Hides has put together two images to create different moods in the audience. Then pick up your brush and create your own pictures which communicate important messages to the reader.

       

Happiness is a Warm Bowl of Soup – Year 5

“Happiness hides in little things. Warm soup full to the brim.” 

We are very lucky to live well, compared to the struggles of children in other countries. Think of some things in your life that make you happy, and write a letter to your parent/caregiver letting them know they’re appreciated.

Storms Pass: Morals in Stories –
Year 5

“Still, happiness is found in little things. Storms pass.”

Good authors often include a moral in their story to teach their younger readers about right and wrong behaviour. Can you find the moral behind some common phrases, and create your own moral tale?

Figurative Language Practice –
Year 6

Good authors use figurative language to spark the imagination of their reader and make their writing more vivid and interesting.

Practise changing some bland phrases into metaphors, then apply figurative language to a piece of your own writing.

Specific Vocabulary –
Year 6

Great writers have a large vocabulary and know exactly the right word to choose to describe something very specifically.

Practice word choice to take your writing from good to superb, exquisite and exemplary.

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