Aya and Papaya find Happiness is a heart-warming new book for young readers by MQ who shares a beautiful message about the true meaning of happiness. In the book, the sun rises and Aya knows it is time for her to wake up. But this morning something feels different – Aya has lost her happiness.
Aya and her best friend, Papaya search high and low. They look inside the wardrobe, under her bed, in the bathtub and even in the garden. But Aya’s happiness is nowhere to be found. Even though they have checked all her favorite places, Aya and Papaya simply cannot find her happiness. It is lost.
Lost, that is, until she looks inside and realizes it was within her all along.
What a delightful book! How can one not love Aya (and Papaya)? This simple and adorable book brings an important and profound life-lesson: that there’s no need to go looking for happiness everywhere–it is within us. The book sweetly describes how Aya thinks she has lost her happiness and how she discovers that she hasn’t lost it but had it right inside her, all the time. We hold the key to our happiness and this book brings home that point through a child. It also shows how there is magic in routine!
Aya is an exuberant little girl who wakes up one morning as usual, but finds that something feels different.
Grabbing her best friend, Papaya, she decides to find out what’s different. She has breakfast as usual. Her sister Lilo invites her to sing and brother Faz suggests football, but Aya doesn’t want to do either – because something feels different.
Everything seems as usual – sun shining, birds singing, flowers dancing in the wind. It is a lovely day but yet, Aya feels dull.
Then she looks in the mirror and realizes why things feel different.
She has lost her happiness!
The reason things felt different was because she wasn’t happy.
So she decides to go looking for her happiness.
Together with Papaya, Aya searches everywhere.
High on the shelf
Low on the floor
In all her favorite hiding places
In her wardrobe
Under her bed
In the bathtub
In the garden
But she can’t find it anywhere.
She starts to cry, wailing “where has my happiness gone?”
Aya’s parents are worried. Aya tells them about how she has been looking for her lost happiness.
The wise parents take her hand and gently ask her if she remembers when she last felt happy.
Aya recalls that she had been happy the day before.
So she goes back to her room, climbs into bed with Papaya, gazes up at the stars on her ceiling and tries to recall what made her happy yesterday.
Her day had begun much like today, except she had woken up with the sun, stretched, then bounced on her parents’ bed, enjoyed her breakfast, sang with her sister and played football with her brother. Then she had played in the garden.
As she recalls everything, she begins to smile, saying she knows where her happiness is!
She runs to the mirror and says, “My happiness is inside me. I didn’t lose it. I just forgot to wake it up”.
She realizes that she is the one who makes her own happiness.
And so, she rewinds, getting back into her pajamas and climbing back into bed, pretending to sleep. Then she pretends to wake up, stretch and start the day afresh!
She hops out of bed, bounces on her parents’ bed and shouts out all the things she is thankful for. She has a second breakfast and lists all the things that she would do – things that made her happy.
And so, from that day on, whenever Aya felt sad, she sat with Papaya and remember all the things that make her happy, because Aya now knew to look for happiness inside herself.
Did you enjoy the story?
Brilliant book for a child to read over and over–and for adults too!
What a delightful way to explain to a child that we don’t have to go chasing happiness – because we each have it in ourselves! Especially good for kids who have a tough time focusing on the positive and struggle with anxiety or negativity. The book highlights how it is okay to feel sad and grumpy and teaches how to comfort oneself.
Beautifully illustrated and a pleasure to read, this book is not just for kids, but also for adults who forget that they alone can control their happiness.
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Disclosure: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.