A little girl named Fern loves her Nanna — most of all, her smile. A time comes, though, when Nanna almost entirely stops smiling.
Fern asks her mother what could be wrong, and when her mother replies that it seems like the joy has gone out of Nanna's life, Fern asks what joy is. "Joy is what makes your heart happy and your eyes twinkle," her mother tells her. Together they reflect on times that this happens, like when Fern goes "whooshing" down a slide.
Fern heads to the park with a can, a saucepan, a fishing net, and more. Joy abounds there, but how can she catch it? The baby's chuckle, the water's sparkle, and other sources of joy refuse to go into Fern's gathering tools. It turns out that Nanna herself helps Fern learn the most important secret about joy, one which brings a smile not only to her face, but also to ours as readers.
Isabelle Follath uses ink, pencils, and watercolor alongside digital techniques to make this story even more vibrant than Corrinne Averiss's thoughtful narrative. The book's target ages are 5 - 6, but that won't stop most grown-ups from returning again and again to these pages to feast on the festive and heartwarming illustrations.