Sunny Side Up by Clare Helen Welsh and Ana Sanfelippo

Sunny Side Up – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: A book full of sunshine.
Children’s book title: Sunny Side Up.
Children’s author: Clare Helen Welsh.
Children’s illustrator: Ana Sanfelippo.
Genre: Lift-the-flap.
Published by: Little Tiger.
ISBN: 9781801044172.
Recommended for children aged: 3-6 year-olds.
First published: Paperback May 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: bringing up the topic of topic of tricky emotions and encouraging readers to look on the brighter side of life. Great for parents, caregivers and classrooms!

Sunny Side Up by Clare Helen Welsh and Ana Sanfelippo

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Our review:

With fantastic illustrations, innovative die-cuts and flaps – which are sure to keep young readers engaged! – Sunny Side Up is a fantastic exploration of perspective and optimism and teaches that there is often more than one way of approaching life.

Throughout the book, we are shown how changing your view (or putting on your ‘sunny-side specs’!) can transform the way you feel about a situation and is a lovely way of teaching young children about the power of positivity. With every turn of the page, we encounter a familiar emotional scenario that children will recognise: feeling bored, lonely, scared or anxious to name a few.

All feelings are validated and recognised in Sunny Side Up and this provides a great discussion point around these. But the young girl in this story soon sees that, with the right outlook, a goodbye can become a hello and that a sad ending can become a happy new beginning!

Importantly, this book recognises that our ‘sunny-side specs’ can’t always be worn… and that that’s okay! Feeling sad about something is perfectly expected and normal but we are encouraged to approach situations with optimism whenever we can.

Our verdict:

Sunny Side Up provides a healthy dose of positivity and a sensitive approach to the big feelings that little ones can often experience. It’s a great book for toddlers and primary-age children (and their adults!).

Teaching points and book club discussion ideas:

Many thanks to Little Tiger for the review copy.

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If you like Sunny Side Up by Clare Helen Welsh and Ana Sanfelippo you might also like: our reviews of Little Big Feelings Endorsed by Dr Janet Rose founder of Emotional Coaching UK, Forwards Always by Matthew Hodson, I’m More Than A Sheep by Bethany Christou, My Sneezes Are Perfect by Rakhshan Rizwan and Yusuf Samee and Happy Healthy Minds by The School of Life.

Browse our feelings and resilience booklist.

About Jen Radford

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Having been a primary teacher for over ten years, I have always been eager to engage children I have worked with in reading and to actively be a ‘reading teacher’ in the classroom and outside of it. I truly believe that a love of reading can unlock so many doors and I aim to continue to inspire children to read for pleasure for the rest of my career. | Reviews by Jen Radford