Other Stuff Exists

Don't get too comfortable with the familiar–other stuff exists, so go explore!

Oh, Were They Ever Happy!

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 13, 2014

The three Noonan children, mistakenly left at home without a babysitter, decide to spend their day helping out by painting the house. Oh, won’t their parents be happy!

OhWereTheyEverHappy-cover

Peter Spier’s Oh, Were They Ever Happy! follows the children from beginning (“I do not know who thought of it first, but there was plenty of paint in the garage.”) to end (“Sure looks swell! Won’t they be happy when they come home and see what we’ve done!”). As the children go along, they gradually become messier and the house gradually becomes more colorful, as the children use as many colors of paint as it takes to finish the job.

OhWereTheyEverHappy-1

The children even clean up, when they’re done! Won’t their parents be happy!

This is a very fun book. They story’s amusing as the children go along, happily ‘helping’ by painting their house (windows and all!). With each passing page, it hardly seems that the mess could get any bigger, but turn the page and it’s messier still. The art is simple, colorful (and how!), and perfectly pleasant. Altogether, this book rather reminds me of Wacky Wednesday.

Spier won the Caldecott medal in 1978 for Noah’s Ark, which is (mostly) wordless, but has a similar style of art.

Strangely, Oh, Were They Ever Happy! seems not to be in print, and the prices at Amazon are higher than expected, but if you do come by a copy, it’s surely worth a read.

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