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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
When I am Happiest
by Rose Lagercrantz
Age Range: 6-8
Dani likes to be happy even when life makes it hard for her to do so. It is the second-to-last day of school, and summer is about to start so Dani is very happy. But then there is a knock on the classroom door, and Dani's world comes crashing down when she is told that her father has been in an accident and is in hospital. How can she possibly be happy now?
This is the third book by Swedish author Rose Lagercrantz and illustrator Eva Eriksson that features Dani, who first appeared in My Happy Life followed by My Heart is Laughing. Lagercrantz's text deals sensitively with the accident that befalls Dani's father and her unhappiness and the simple pen and ink illustrations by Eriksson bring a gentle humour as well as pathos in the expressive facial expressions of many of the characters, especially Dani.
When I am Happiest is a warm and heartfelt story that explores how Dani navigates her emotions at a difficult time in her life as she tries desperately to find something to be positive about. Dani faces her biggest challenge yet, but ultimately it’s her wonderful optimism that shines through as she finds a reason to be happy again.