My Heart Fills With Happiness

Written by: Monique Gray Smith

Illustrated by: Julie Flett

For Ages: Infant and Up

Language: Bilingual-English and Plains Cree; English.

Topics Covered: Indigenous Voices, First Nations, Happiness, Family, Community, Culture,  Love.

Summary: This adorable board book celebrates happiness and the little things in life.  Baking bread, walking in the grass, drumming on the lap of a family member, and dancing.  The end invites the reader and audience to think about what fills their heart with happiness, and encourages joy in all aspects of life.  This book is light, positive, and celebratory.  The illustrations show happy faces and cultural elements of Indigenous life-dancing, drumming, watching narwhals from the shore.  A simple book for early readers, and a quick bedtime story.

Reflection Questions:

  • What makes you happy?
  • Who in your life fills your heart with happiness?
  • Who in your life do YOU want to make happy?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Draw a picture of the things that make you happy.  Are there people in the picture? Could you draw a picture of you both doing something that makes you both happy? Do you think it would make them happy to receive the drawing?
  • Do something nice for someone in the community that makes you happy.  A phone call, visit, small gift, or good deed like bringing in their mail are all easy ideas for young children!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

c4-0502-smith-jpg

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twelve year old twins. She is an award winning author, international speaker and sought after consultant. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

 

julie flett

Julie Flett is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki (Tradewind Books), and My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014–2015.

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