Yelapa Flashback and Book Review: Happy

If you’re new here, you may not know that we recently spent five months in Mexico as part of our own little lifestyle experiment. (Hmmm….that was almost two years ago, so maybe not that recently.) It was such an experience that it made lasting impressions on us. Anyway, while we were there, I discovered a particular song for the first time…hop over to this link to read my entertaining commentary on that subject: If You Feel Like a Room without a Roof. Really, go ahead, this post will be here when you get back.

What the heck does all that have to do with this book review? Well….

  1. Happy” is an awesome song and, by extension, Pharrell Williams absolutely rocks.
  2. It is impossible for me to NOT dance when I hear this song.
  3. The choir of the Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences did a fabulous version of this song — and children LOVE to watch them sing it.
  4. The song is the perfect accompaniment for the eye-candy aerial views of Yelapa, as demonstrated by the stunning video of Team Chingadera sky diving over the little cove that we lived on. (Disclaimer: I do not know these people, and be aware that there is a bit of egregious behavior at end of video, which is probably not appropriate for small people.)
  5. Because we were living in Yelapa when I ‘discovered’ this song and the mysterious workings of my inner mind, Pharrell’s song “Happy” will always make me think of Yelapa. How appropriate, no?

So, there’s all that. Then, just the other day, we happily stumbled upon this book at our library:

Which brings me to…

Book Review: Happy by Pharrell Williams

This is an absolutely delightful picture book, set to the words (AKA, lyrics) of Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”. We think the song is marvelous, so it isn’t surprising that we love the book. It is worth noting that it might be difficult to just read the words, especially if you know the song. You might prefer singing the words. (But that isn’t so bad now, is it?)

Picture books are an essential component of any library, but especially a child’s library. This one is great because it has real photographs of actual children, and a diverse bunch of kids, too. My child enjoys intense periods of staring at observing other people, especially children. And (thanks to societal ‘norms’ that have been previously ingrained in my old brain), since I usually get uncomfortable after only a few minutes of her observation of other real, live people…having a book with photos of real, live people is a wonderful thing.

The lyrics of the song (words of the book) are a great message, but you don’t need me to tell you that: how many awards and accolades did Pharrell get for this little ditty? You and your children will only benefit from reading and hearing these lines.

Even better is having the lyrics of a song written on the pages of a lovely picture book. For kids that are learning to read, their knowledge of the lyrics will facilitate their attempts at sounding-it-out and reading along.

At the end of the book is letter from Pharrell. Even that makes me smile. Especially this line:

“I hope that every time you hear the song “Happy”, you dance like no one’s watching, smile like love, and believe that happiness can change the world.”

We got this book from our library less than three days ago, and we’ve read it many times since then. Our very own copy will be added to our permanent collection soon. It is a good addition for your bookshelves, too. Who doesn’t need a little bit more Happy in their lives?

Before I get up to shake my tail feathers to this song, I happily give props to the same folks as in my April 2014 post:


Thank you, Pharrell Williams, for your song.  Thank you, Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences choir, for your performance.  Thank you, Team Chingadera, for your sky diving video.  Thank you, FB posters of things that make me smile.  Thank you, daughter, for being you.

Plus one more: Thank you for reading to the end of this post. If you like it, please share this post and your favorite books.

About Stephanie

I am a mother and a wife, lady scientist, gardener, fabulous cook, foodie, world traveler, and aspiring polymath. I like to ignore stereotypes, challenge the status quo and encourage independent thought.
This entry was posted in Family, Reading, Resources, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s