Layla’s Happiness
by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie & Ashleigh Corrin

Everything about this beautiful book is joyful – from the sheer poetry of the text through to the bright and bold illustrations. I love stories which focus on specific emotions and this one is really special because it looks at happiness from the point of view of a child.

If you ask an adult what makes them happy then the answers are generally unsurprising – their family, their friends, travel, a good book, a hot drink on a cold day – but kids see the world differently and their answers reflect that.

Seven year old Layla loves life and as we follow her through the pages of this story she shares all of the things which make her happy. She loves the night sky, eating spaghetti with a fork and climbing trees. She loves to listen to her dad tell her stories about his childhood. She loves dancing in the garden, feeding the chickens and picking vegetables to sell at the farmer’s market.

The things which make Layla happy are unique to her but the gorgeous illustrations show us how all of these things slot in to the life she leads with her family and the way she benefits from her community (and they from her). We see bustling markets, tender family scenes and moments of quiet solitude.

This is a simple but extremely moving book which reminds us all to stop and enjoy the little things in life because they are indeed the big things.

The story ends with a very important question, and I would love to hear your answers – what is happiness to you?

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