The Happiest Book Ever!


  • The Happiest Book Ever!
  • written and illustrated by Bob Shea
  • published by Disney Hyperion (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

The Happiest Book Ever is a book that promises a lot in just the title. But can it deliver? Well, right there on the cover is a dancing cake and a giraffe with two ice cream cones…and one of them is for me!

So yeah, we’re off to a good start.

But, you see, there’s this frog…


That frog is no fun. He refuses to be swayed by the happiness around him. A sun with a new haircut and snazzy glasses? Unimpressed. A candy parade? Not even a grin. Sunspot naptime kitties? Nope; he’s having none of it.

So, the happiest book ever (which does indeed have a face, smiling at you from every spread), eventually goes on the defensive.

The book implores the reader to think happy thoughts, give the book a good shake, and even read a sure-fire frog joke (of which there are several great ones in the back of the book).

When none of these things manage to cheer up that grumpy frog, the only-slightly-creepy disembodied face that is The Happiest Book Ever becomes…something else. Something the opposite of happy. GASP! Something mean.

Bob Shea (the creator of the uber-silly Ballet Cat books, which remain favorites around my house) has given us another supremely silly book that’s loads of fun to read aloud. The message of acceptance, tolerance, and friendship? Icing on the cake.

Plus, you get six sure-fire frog jokes at no extra cost. Can’t argue with that.


(Disclosure: Disney Hyperion provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.