Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

My Heart Is Laughing

My Heart Is Laughing

Rose Lagercrantz
Illustrator:  Eva Eriksson 
For ages 6 to 8
Gecko Press, 2014   ISBN: 978-1877579523

Usually Dani is a happy girl, but at the moment she is having a hard time being happy. Her best friend Ella has moved away, and Ella has a very special place in Dani’s life and in her heart. Dani does her best to hold onto the hope that Ella will come back one day. What makes things even worse is the fact that though Dani likes some of the kids in her class, none of them are really good friends. And then there is Vicky and Micky. These two girls are best friends and they seem to enjoy making Dani feel small.

At lunch Dani sits on her own and she remembers the time when she visited Ella at her new house. Then the teacher comes over and she insists that Dani should sit with the other children, which Dani does not want to do. Worse still, she places Dani’s chair right between Vicky and Micky’s chairs. The two mean girls then set about making Dani as miserable as possible. They say things that are hurtful, and then they start pinching Dani. Over and over they pinch until Dani snaps. Dani grabs the sauce bottle, aims it at Mickey and squirts her in the face. Then she goes to do the same to Vicky and instead she gets sauce on the teacher.

Dani runs home, she goes up to her room, and then she cries her heart out. As she so often does, Dani takes refuge in the memories that she has of the times she spent with Ella. They are such good memories and they make Dani’s problems go away. At least for a little while.

This wonderful book takes us into the life of a little girl who is struggling. She is trying very hard to hold onto the one thing that makes her feel happy; the memories of a precious friendship. Though Dani is lonely, she ends up learning that she is not alone. She has allies who believe in her and who love her.