Title: Happy Misunderstanding – How Folly Gets His Name
Author: Ginny Buller
Illustrator: Julie Chettle
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
If you are a child and get lost or separated from your parents, fear and uncertainty can easily take over and consume you. But with the help of friends, you can find comfort and peace, maybe even having a little fun in the process. In Ginny Buller’s Happy Understanding – How Folly Gets His Name, this short story hones in on the subject of making friends when scared and lonely.
This twenty four page oversized paperback book depicts a happy young lion on the front jacket. The book is targeted for any age, but especially apropos for young pre-school or kindergarten age. With no profanity or overtly scary situations, it could be a good book to read at bed-time. Illustrator Julie Chettle does a thorough job in her pen and colored pencil drawings that are detailed, fun, creative and take up more space on each page than the writing itself.
This short tome is about a young lion that wakes up in the bushes in a jungle but cannot remember why he is there or how he got there. All he remembers is that his mother told him to stay in the bushes and be very quiet. Scared, afraid and wanting to cry, he looks around and sees there are other animals beyond the bushes. But being inquisitive and wanting to look around further, he pokes his head between the leaves. He first is introduced to a baby monkey and his father who tell him they are not his mother. The cub squeaks out a weak roar in sadness and the father monkey picks him up to comfort him, taking him to the nearby pool. Next he talks to a hippopotamus, an alligator, an elephant and a bear but learns none of them are his mother.
An eagle flying above calls down to “Folly” and all the animals misunderstand him and think this is the lion’s name and repeats it to him. In the end, everyone invites the newly named lion to live with them and be a part of their community. Folly roars like a real lion when he happily realizes he is wanted by his new animal friends.
This is a nice, innocuous read for any child that enjoys looking at pictures while being read to or individually reading even though there are several large words. It is a perfect book to read over and over even though the lion’s mother does not return or is discussed any further.