University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: Happy by Mies Van Hout

Field of Philosophy: Metaphysics

Plot Summary: The book explores feelings by illustrating one word - brave, surprised, proud, angry - with lively pastels of unusual-looking fish. Using colors and images, the books raises questions about the nature of particular feelings and emotions.

Some discussion questions:

What is an emotion? Are emotions and feelings the same?
Do the illustrations represent the feelings corresponding to them on the page?
Do our expressions always indicate our feelings?
Can we have more than one of these feelings simultaneously? If we're brave, can we also be shocked? If we're angry, can we also be delighted?
How do we know the fish are feeling the emotions represented?
Do the colors make us believe the fish are experiencing certain emotions? Do certain colors make us feel certain ways? Why is red used to express anger, blue to express sadness, etc.?