Best Book: Layla’s Happiness, by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie + illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin
“Children become like the things they love.”1
Layla is a savvy seven year old who is very much attuned to those things that make her happy! Starting with her affinity for nighttime and the full moon, which “sits in the sky like a wish flower’s sister," Layla’s unexpected insights and enthusiasms reveal her confidence, her creativity and her genuine love of life. Ashleigh Corrin’s delightful illustrations capture Mariahadessa Tallie’s very upbeat vibe and leave you wanting to know more about Layla, her family and her community!
Whether enjoyed in a classroom or as a bedtime story Layla’s Happiness is a wonderful point of departure for meaningful exchanges about the all important question: “What is happiness to you?” Teaching young children to become mindful of those people, places and things that bring them joy is a foundational social-emotional skill.
Maria Montessori saw young children as having “a guide within themselves that directs their activity...” She noted that this guide “exists from the first.” Attuning to one’s inner guide, according to Dr. Montessori is “a matter of first importance”2 for in so doing, children begin to develop a sense of harmony, connection and purpose.
Montessori, Maria (1995). The Absorbent Mind, Henry Holt & COmpany, New York, NY, p. 101.
Ibid. p. 100.