Official Review: Be Happy To Be You by Diane Hull

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bookowlie
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Official Review: Be Happy To Be You by Diane Hull

Post by bookowlie »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Be Happy To Be You" by Diane Hull.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Be Happy to Be You is a children’s picture book written by Diane Hull and illustrated by Jan Dolby. The story explores a baby bird’s feelings about his limitations. The young bird is envious of other animals that have specific abilities he doesn’t possess. For example, fish can swim, horses can run, and frogs can jump. Although his mother points out the wonderful things birds can do, the bird is still upset about his shortcomings. When he catches a cold, will the baby bird realize how much he takes for granted in his life?

I enjoyed this entertaining story which contains a valuable lesson - be happy with who you are. With the simple refrain, “be happy to be you,” the book effectively communicates that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The storyline is easy to follow with clear examples of what different animals can do.

The book would be a perfect fit for children who are learning to read. There are only one or two sentences on each page and the vocabulary is fairly basic. Each page contains a full-length picture which matches the action described in the text. The vibrant, brightly colored illustrations almost leap off the page and bring this interesting story to life. I particularly liked the characters’ over-exaggerated facial expressions as they add a humorous feel to the book. The only exception is the way the horses are depicted. They are shown running in the distance and are very small with no recognizable facial features.

My main issue with the story is that the main character has no name. I think children can relate better to a character that has a proper name, rather than being referred to as “the baby bird.” Having no name gives an impersonal feel to the main character. Also, the only clue to the bird’s gender is the use of the he pronoun. When I began writing this review, I had to reread the beginning in order to see the word “he” was used when referencing the baby bird.

I am pleased to report there are no grammatical or spelling errors, as it is not too common for indie books to be professionally edited. The plot has a smooth flow with an identifiable problem and clear resolution. This format is useful in children’s books so kids can be shown there are ways to deal with issues that may arise.

I give this book the highest rating, 4 out of 4 stars. It is a fun read which teaches a universal lesson. Although I would have preferred the main character to have a proper name, I still loved the story. I would recommend it to children ages 3-8 due to the easy-to-understand plot and simple word choices. It is a perfect read-aloud choice for parents and teachers, while beginning readers can enjoy the book independently.

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Be Happy To Be You
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Post by edumash30 »

On my opinion, the book is easy to understand and the language is simple thus making the story interesting since it makes kids view issues in a different way and positively hence transforming them to accept their strength and weaknesess
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Post by liftedbooks »

It sounds like a great book for kids. I particularly like the universal message; all kids should learn this from a young age. I might read this to my young niece. I agree that the main character should have a name though. Thank you for the great review.
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Post by Arnold4599 »

I see the book is more interesting and understandable to young kids due to simple language used.I need also to read for my self thank you.
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Post by gali »

A story exploring a baby bird’s feelings about his limitations sounds like a meaningful book for kids. Too bad the main character is nameless. I agree that children can relate better characters with names. Great review as always!
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Post by Tega_melisa »

The story is very interesting, its has a valuable lesson for kids.love that the author is getting that message out there
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Post by meriales_angel »

This is very applicable for the 21st century generation because many kids have their own kind of language but this topic has a easy way of communication to the readers
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Post by Corhan2 »

Thanks for the review. What a lovely message to give children - be happy to be you - it is so important to realize that from a young age!!
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Post by Libs_Books »

This sounds like a good buy for parents to share or for young readers. I agree about the name, but maybe there's a good case for being vague about gender - hard to tell with baby birds, I imagine.
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Post by kandscreeley »

What a great lesson to teach children! I'm still learning the lesson myself. I'm glad that the book is so well done because I really think we need to start teaching children this from a young age. Another great review. Thanks so much.
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Post by bookowlie »

Thanks everyone! Kandscreeley - I agree that it's good to reinforce this message to kids at a young age. It instills confidence. Libs_books - I don't think the author was being intentionally vague since the he pronoun was used. I just think it's better for the character to actually have a name.
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bookowlie
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Post by bookowlie »

Gali - thanks for the kind words! I agree that children can relate better to a character with a proper name. I even found it difficult to write the review without having a name to refer to.
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Post by Anon_Reviewer »

How I wish I had read such a book when I was younger! I'm actually thinking of getting it for my nieces. A fun activity to do would be for them to have a go at naming the bird since it does not have a name in the book :D
By the way, I enjoyed your review a lot!
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bookowlie
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Post by bookowlie »

Ever_Reading wrote: 25 May 2018, 08:59 How I wish I had read such a book when I was younger! I'm actually thinking of getting it for my nieces. A fun activity to do would be for them to have a go at naming the bird since it does not have a name in the book :D
By the way, I enjoyed your review a lot!
Thanks Ever_Reading. :) What a great suggestion to make it an activity for the kids to name the bird!
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Post by cpru68 »

This message in our “selfie”
society cannot be reinforced enough. We must have good books and media that speak the truth that we are all here in our own way to fulfill a purpose in life regardless of what everyone else is doing. This one sounds like a great book to add to the parenting shelf.
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