In the spirit of Ramona Quimby, meet Dani, a young girl who has faced sadness but still looks for happiness in her life.
My Happy Life Series
by Rose Lagercrantz | illustrated by Eva Eriksson
translated by Julia Marshall
This charming, sparsely written, beautifully illustrated series introduces beginning chapter book readers to first-grader Dani who reaches second grade by the sixth book. Expertly translated from the Swedish by Julia Marshall.
Lagercrantz presents a little girl who faces grief and loss, but bravely and optimistically moves through life with courage and hope.
Dani’s mother died when she was young, and she misses her. Her father and extended family, specifically her maternal grandmother, take care of her with love and compassion. But they have challenges like everyone else. Her father ends up in the hospital due to a bicycle accident, recovers, and falls in love with a nurse from the hospital. Dani’s not enthusiastic about the new girlfriend, and neither is her grandmother, a theme that rings true. Her best friend Ella moves away, but not so far that Dani cannot visit. Despite her grandmother not being able to drive her due to a previous commitment with her bridge ladies, she gives second grader Dani permission take the short train ride alone. Things go awry, and Ella is not there to meet her, but simple explanations and new plans are made. Through her lovely teacher, her other friends, and her family’s love, Dani faces life with optimism and hope, even if things don’t always pan out exactly the way she had planned.
Honesty and life’s everyday challenges abound in this series about a little girl who’s easy to love and who children and parents will admire.
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