Joyby Published 27 Jun 2018
|Publisher||Quarto Publishing Group - Frances Lincoln Childrens|
Fern’s Nanna has not been herself of late. And when Mum remarks that all the joy seems to have gone out of her life, Fern decides to fetch the joy back. With her catching-kit at the ready, she goes to the park and finds joy in all sorts of unusual places. Whooooshh!
But Fern soon realises that joy doesn’t fit in a bag, or a box or a tin! How will she manage to bring some back to Nanna?
Emotional, funny and uplifting, this beautiful picture book has a strong message about empathy and maintaining loving relationships with our grandparents. Guaranteed to bring a bit of joy into every reader’s life, this story is a pure delight.
This one is well named. JOY!
“‘What’s wrong with Nanna?’ Fern asked her mum.
‘I don’t know’, Mum replied.
‘It’s like the joy has gone out of her life.’
‘What’s joy?’ asked Fern.
‘Joy is what makes your heart happy
and your eyes twinkle.’
Nanna, looking drab and Fern looking worried
As good an explanation of JOY as any, I reckon. Nanna used to be a colourful, cheery baker of cakes.
Cheery Nanna with her happy cat and Fern
Now, even the cat and the plants seem moody and down in the dumps with Nanna.
Nanna's living room in decline.
Fern is going to try to fix that. The premise of the book is easy enough to understand, and Fern’s attempts to catch or trap some “joy” for Nanna are just the kind of thing a little girl might try.
Fern trying to catching pretty things in a box in the park
But try as she might, she has no luck. So, if she can’t bring the joy to Nanna, she’ll take Nanna to the joy!
Fern and Nanna, wheeling merrily through the park!
And the best sort of outing is a picnic! So we're treated to a delicious-looking happy ending!
Fern and Nanna having a picnic and a nap in the park
A great book to bring joy to anyone, and a wonderful way to show children how they can help other people find joy. Especially for grandparents and grandchildren, of course, but really, we'd all love to be in that park at that picnic, wouldn't we?
Many thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing/Frances Lincoln Children's Books for this delightful preview.
What a beautiful story--one I can hardly wait to share with my grandkids. Fern realizes that her Nanna doesn't seem happy anymore (wonderfully conveyed in the grayness of the illustrations as opposed to the bright colors when Fern is experiencing joy), and tries to capture some joy to bring to Nanna. After many attempts, Fern feels sad (another gray illustration) when she returns to Nanna, who then has the best line in the whole book--"You bring me all the joy in the world just by being you."
Fern, the cover girl, is concerned about her Nanna. "It's like the joy has gone out of her life." Fern doesn't know what Joy is so asks her mum who tells her, "Joy is what makes your heart happy and your eyes twinkle."
So Fern sets off on a joy hunt as she tries to capture all the joy she encounters. Only problem is that joy can't be boxed, bagged, or put in a net. This makes Fern sad when she goes to visit Nanna. Nanna asks her what has upset her. When Fern tells Nanna of what she was trying to do, and all the joy she experienced in trying to do it Nanna smiles and is filled with joy again.
This is a nice, colourful book with good pictures. The little girl Fern looks like she is really full of joy and the things she does are the child-like, fun things that young kids will easily relate with. The way joy is portrayed in the picture, like the swirl of joy on the front cover, is clever. The story is also good because it is a story of family love, something again kids can relate to. Also young children will be familiar with going on a hunt thanks to the ever popular "We're going on a bear hunt" book.
Maybe I am reading too much into this book, but here goes. Fern loves her Nana. She is a happy, baker with a wonderful cat. Nana and Fern spend many happy days together. This part of the story is bright and colourful. But, when poor Nana loses her joy, Fern is worried about her and does not know what is wrong. It looks to me, like Nana is having some depression from aging perhaps. Fern asks her mom what joy is, and then she goes to the park to catch some joy and bring it to Nana. Try as she might, she can't catch the joy she feels when she hears a baby laugh from being tickled or when she sees ripples of sun sparkling on the water in the duck pond. When they leave the park and go to grandma's, Fern tells her all about the Joy she found at the park. This makes grandma happy and the colours return to the story. The next day, Fern pushes grandma in her wheelchair to the park and they find Joy together. Read this delightful story with a child or as an adult... you will enjoy it either way. The message about finding Joy in the little things and sharing your joy with others is easy to see. The illustrations match the story so well. When Nana is happy, the illustrations are bright, colourful and fanciful. When she is not happy, the illustrations are dark, bland and sad looking. I love how this is so in sync with the story. A great book for children with grandparents to understand how important spending time with them is. The publisher, Quarto Publishing Group - Frances Lincoln Childrens generously provided me with a copy of this book to read.
This story is one of the best I’ve read lately in the picture book genre. I’ve noticed a trend where grandparents only feature in picture books to teach children about loss and death, so I was very scared that was the way this story was going to go. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Instead, it teaches children about the importance of relationships with grandparents. Moreover, I really liked the fact that Fern was determined to ‘catch’ joy to bring it back to her nanna. That’s the kind of endearing logic only a child would have, and that’s exactly why I love reading picture books. (Side note: Fern is a gorgeous name, and now one of my all-time favourites.)
The illustrations are equally as beautiful as the story. I like the soft ‘look’ of them, and it’s exactly the amount of detail I like. Furthermore, I really enjoy the contrast between the illustrations showing joy and the ones showing sadness. The ones showing sadness are a lot more grey and dark, while the ones depicting joy are very bright. I also was pleasantly surprised that joy is physically depicted in the illustrations, with swirls of bright colours, butterflies, sparkles and leaves – all the things that bring children joy!
Lastly, I thought the added touch of using childhood pictures of Joy’s creators was
wonderful, and it made me smile when I noticed it!
Thank you to Quarto Kids for sending me a review copy!
You can read more of my reviews on my book blog: https://booksiseeloveandread.wixsite....