Its emotionally resonant story is universal

Starred Review, Booklist (US)

My Heart is Laughing


The standalone sequel to the acclaimed illustrated chapter book, My Happy Life (a New York Times Notable Children’s Book).


  • Description

    My Heart is Laughing is a standalone sequel to the acclaimed illustrated chapter book My Happy Life (a New York Times Notable Children’s Book). Rose Lagercrantz explores themes of school, bullying and friendship

    Dani’s been trying her best to stay happy ever since her best friend Ella moved away. But when some girls in Dani’s class start being cruel to her, it starts a chain of rather unhappy events… It would all be okay if only Ella would move back.

    This is an early chapter book with line drawings by Eva Eriksson on every page. It is a sequel to the popular My Happy Life but can be read on its own.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Sweden
    Reader Age 6-8 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Reviewer’s Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review (USA), November 2014

      A story of rare depth that acknowledges the complexities of elementary school life. It sweeps across a thorny spectrum of emotions – anger, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, disappointment, despair, hope and contentment … Beautiful and relevant.

    2. Page and Blackmore Booksellers (NZ), November 2014

      A delightful story about being sad and happy, best friends and hopefulness.

    3. Poetry Box (NZ), November 2014

      The sentences are diamonds and pearls and emeralds on the page … shining and lovely. An altogether gorgeous, moving story.

    4. Starred Review, Booklist (US), October 2014

      Its emotionally resonant story is universal … Keep this volume in mind as an accessible chapter book for younger children and a riveting readaloud choice for the classroom.

    5. Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine (US), November/December 2014

      Lagercrantz’s text is funny, real, and full of fresh, convincing detail. Eriksson’s line drawings brilliantly portray facial expressions and body language … Salty and sweet, this is umami for the emerging reader.

    6. BookDragon Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (US), September 2014

      Oh, what delight … long-time Swedish collaborators Rose Lagercrantz (who writes with such open clarity) and Eva Eriksson (who draws with such vibrant whimsy) bring another Dani-adventure to the page … [a] story of transforming a difficult situation with optimism and laughter.

    7. Fully Booked (Australia), September 2014

      Eriksson’s black-and-white sketches complement Lagercrantz’s simple, yet engaging writing, effortlessly pulling you into Dani’s world.

    8. Emily Smith (age 11), Gisborne Herald (NZ), July 2014

      If you like funny books, and books that are a little bit sad, this book is for you … Go and buy this book, what are you doing just sitting around, it’s the holidays, go and read this book!

    9. Waikato Times (NZ), July 2014

      Simply told in easy language and short sentences, with Eva Erikson’s illustrations enhancing the friendship between Dani and Ella and showing the seriousness of the bullying. Writer and illustrator in perfect harmony.

    10. Create a Kids Book (AUS), August 2014

      A delightful book for both beginning readers, and those, like me, who are a little further on in their literary journey.

    11. Reading Today Online (US), July 2014

      Readers’ hearts may swell with joy at Dani’s positive outlook … This short chapter book with its lovely sketches of Dani’s world is perfect for sharing through a read aloud.

    12. Kiwi Families (NZ), July 2014

      Full of nuance and subtlety and there’s plenty to talk about with your child. This book is perfect as a first `chapter’ book for early readers and was a lovely reading book for my daughter.

    13. Kirkus Reviews (US), July 2014

      A forthright early chapter book about resilience. This deeply respectful book validates and celebrates the daily challenges of being a child in today’s world.

    14. Starred Review, School Library Journal (US), July 2014

      Eriksson’s plentiful black-and-white line drawings expressively show joy and distress and perfectly complement the story. Lagercrantz has the ability to develop her characters fully, while keeping the story approachable for young readers just wanting to tackle chapter books.

    15. Little Ones Read (US), July 2014

      A beautifully illustrated children’s book … Dani was a really sweet character and convincing in her actions … The illustrations were absolutely beautiful and captured the text perfectly.

    16. Your Weekend, The Dominion Post (NZ), July 2014

      An impressive early chapter book, with plenty of depth … Simply told in easy language and short sentences … Writer and illustrator in perfect harmony.

    17. Bookrapt (NZ), June 2014

      This sensitive tale gives a perceptive insight into a child’s thoughts and experiences … The characters’ expressions and body language convey the classmates’ moods to perfection … Early readers will enjoy this quality chapter book.

    18. Booksellers NZ, June 2014

      Delightful humour and a wonderful sense of adventure surrounds Dani and Ella’s relationship … particularly good for a small group/classroom reading and discussion situation … a good read for any child struggling with life issues and would also suit a situation where a concerned parent needs a discussion opener.

    19. Around the Bookshops, May 2014

      Dani loses none of her charm and exuberance in this new title … a wonderfully easily accessed story with really charming illustrations.

    20. The Children’s Bookshop Newsletter, May 2014

      Handles issues of bullying, friendship and optimism with real understanding of children’s emotions. [It] will captivate readers aged 5 plus.

    21. Book Trailers for Kids and YA (NZ), May 2014

      This is a delightful follow-up to My Happy Life but also a great stand alone. I think this is ideal for 5 -7 year old readers looking for a first chapter book.

    22. The Source (Australia/NZ), April 2014

      My Heart is Laughing is a perfect chapter book, the ideal bridge between picture books and novels. It is also a very funny story, with a strong appeal for young readers.

    23. Page and Blackmore Booksellers, April 2014

      Another adorable book from the author and illustrator of My Happy Life. These books are just the best … perfect as a read-aloud for 4-up and a read-alone for 6-8yrs.

  • Reviews

    1. Alyson

      My Year 2 class loved both ‘My happy Life’ and ‘My heart is Laughing’ at the beginning of the year. I read them back to back and they howled with dismay whenever I stopped reading them. They identified with all the friendship issues and were joyful along with the girls in the story. They really connected with the story and we have referred back to the characters all year, the playground behaviours and what being a good friend really means. Following my reading of it, the book has passed from child to child and is in demand. This book inspired my children to read themselves.
      We are so looking forward to the third book coming later in the year.

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