This wonderful book has 52 mini chapters, of a sort, since the book is largely illustrations, with straightforward inspirational thoughts, alongside lined pages — sprinkled throughout — for my daughter to write down her own thoughts. Each of the 52 areas — one for each week of the year — focus on different parts of life and helping (especially young) people to improve their lives.
The major sections are called Outdoors, At Home, With Others, The Little Things, Life is Hard, The Big Picture, and Happiness Cards. The first section focuses on how to spend more time outside and enjoy the outdoors, while the second helps people to think about ways to more (mindfully) be cozy and comfortable when you are at home, (as we all are these days). Other sections focus on how to connect and enjoy time with others, ways to enjoy the little things in life, how to have a positive mindset (especially when life gets challenging), and how to face and make big changes in your life. There are other inspirational thoughts, as cards to give away, to try to help “spread joy and happiness.” The illustrations are charming and obviously heartfelt, and make each page a lovely personal gift from the author, herself.
The unconventional layout, design, and illustrations work very well. The overall impact is stronger — yet more approachable — than I could describe. Writing prompts include things like “books I want to read” or friend “date” ideas. There are helpful thoughts like, “Something as simple as wishing others to be happy can have a great impact on your own happiness. Practice by secretly sending happy thoughts to someone you cross paths with during your daily routine.” How wonderful!
There are other practical thoughts like breathing techniques to help calm yourself, and encouragement to live in the now, rather than worrying about the future or dwelling too much on the past. There are several which express, in genuine and engaging ways about learning to have more gratitude for our ordinary, everyday joys, and to feel happy about the good people in our lives. This book is a godsend. My daughter loves it and so do I. This is a wonderful gift for anyone you love and who you’d like to be happier — including yourself!