My Heart is Laughing by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Erikson.
Dani is about 10 years old and she likes to be happy all the time but this is not possible. When her best friend, Ella, moves to another town the bottom falls out of Dani’s life. She sits by herself in the cafe and mopes around and really needs to start relating to other children in her class.
When two bully girls Vicky and Mickey get a crush on the same boy and that boy prefers Dani, then life gets perilous for Dani. Vicky and Mickey bully Dani mercilessly and in a pinching episode in the school cafeteria, Dani loses her cool and splashes sauce all over Vicky and worst of all, all over the teacher.
There is more to this story than this but you will have to read it to find out. There is a lovely second father, an insightful teacher and a portrait of two friends enjoying the fantasy of life in a big tree.
Wonderfully told in simple language and short sentences. A story that begs to be read aloud.
Eva Erikson’s illustrations are a delight. They add to the storyline and enhance the friendship between Dani and Ella as well as showing the seriousness of the bullying and the concern of second father to Dani, and the school teacher.
Writer and illustrator are in perfect harmony.
Translated from Swedish for primary school children this novel is impressive as an early chapter book with plenty of depth.
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