Son of Happy

Son of Happy

Written by: Fagan, Cary
Illustrated by: Pavlovic, Milan
ages 6 to 9 / grades 1 to 4

How would you feel if your dad were a clown?

The boy in this story never wants to go to his friends’ birthday parties, because Happy the Clown is always there. And Happy is … his dad.

He wishes his dad had a regular job, like all the other kids’ parents. He didn’t mind his dad being a clown when he was a little kid, but now it’s just embarrassing. And even worse, since business is slow, his dad is putting a sign on the front lawn advertising his clown services!

But one night at dinner Dad announces that he’s going back to his old job of being a lawyer. “You were a lawyer?” the boy asks, incredulous.

Now his dad wears a suit and tie to work, the family can buy a new car, his mom can take piano lessons, and he can have a skateboard and cellphone. But something feels different. The boy wonders if his dad misses being a clown. Or is he the one who misses Happy?

With bittersweet humor, Cary Fagan brings us a story about a boy’s growing consciousness and a father’s realization that he can be himself.

Key Text Features
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

How would you feel if your dad were a clown?

The boy in this story never wants to go to his friends’ birthday parties, because Happy the Clown is always there. And Happy is … his dad.

He wishes his dad had a regular job, like all the other kids’ parents. He didn’t mind his dad being a clown when he was a little kid, but now it’s just embarrassing. And even worse, since business is slow, his dad is putting a sign on the front lawn advertising his clown services!

But one night at dinner Dad announces that he’s going back to his old job of being a lawyer. “You were a lawyer?” the boy asks, incredulous.

Now his dad wears a suit and tie to work, the family can buy a new car, his mom can take piano lessons, and he can have a skateboard and cellphone. But something feels different. The boy wonders if his dad misses being a clown. Or is he the one who misses Happy?

With bittersweet humor, Cary Fagan brings us a story about a boy’s growing consciousness and a father’s realization that he can be himself.

Key Text Features
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - May 1, 2020
Specifications 44 pages | 7.25 in x 8.5 in

Praise for author Cary Fagan and illustrator Milan Pavlovic for  Son of Happy:

CBC Books Best Canadian Picture Books of 2020


“[An] impressively entertaining story for young readers.” — Midwest Book Review

“[A] heartwarming story … Milan Pavlovic’s mixed-media illustrations have a childlike feel with scribbly lines and crayon shading. … Cary Fagan’s text is ideal for early readers — simple with lots of short sentences and a pleasing rhythm.” — Quill & Quire, starred review

“[A] tender story.” — Canadian Children’s Book News 

“This story warms my heart. … This is perfect fare for kids who want a longer book to read.” — Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

“A thoughtful, introspective read.” — Fab Book Reviews Blog

“[R]ecommended for children who are going through age-related changes that can sometimes cause a rift or friction in their relationship with parents.” — CM Review of Materials


Praise for author Cary Fagan and illustrator Banafsheh Erfanian for A Cage Went in Search of a Bird:

“An original and thought-provoking exploration of the rhythms of friendship.” — Kirkus, starred review


Praise for Cary Fagan and The Hollow under the Tree:

“An excellent read … [T]his short chapter book will please animal enthusiasts and readers of tales about brave girls alike.”  — Kirkus

“[A] quick read for younger middle-grade readers looking for slightly offbeat mysteries.”  — School Library Journal


Praise for author Heather Hartt-Sussmann and illustrator Milan Pavlovic for  Seamus’s Short Story:

“The illustrations, in rich watercolor and colored pencil, are elegantly patterned and arranged on white backgrounds. The illustrations of Seamus joyfully grabbing the remote and absconding with his embarrassing baby picture are particularly exuberant.”  — School Library Journal, starred review

 

Praise for author Rolli and illustrator Milan Pavlovic for Kabungo:

“[G]rayscale illustrations by comic artist Pavlovic make this surreal tale seem almost real … Fresh and original …”  — Kirkus, starred review


Praise for authors Guy and Patricia Storms and illustrator Milan Pavlovic for Moon Wishes:

“Pavlovic’s spreads slow down the reading experience with mixed-media artwork that dances like the northern lights, each colour blurring and rippling into the next. . . . Moon Wishes embodies complete calm in its textual and visual lyricism.” — Quill & Quire