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Shiny Happy People

Shiny Happy People

by Paul Hoppe with ShinYeon Moon • Lyrics by R.E.M.

Akashic Books/Lyric Pop

Akashic Books’ Lyric Pop series turns the words of well-known songs into vibrant children’s books. Often, the songs don’t have clear-cut stories. The illustrators tease out a kid-friendly story from the words and feelings inherent in the source material.

There really isn’t a lot to the lyrics of “Shiny Happy People.” In classic REM fashion, the song offers impressions and a feel good vibe. Paul Hoppe with ShinYeon Moon create the story of a bunny and a fox who are best friends. When Fox comes to visit Bunny, they encounter disapproval. The other bunnies are militantly anti-fox. Fox tries to win over the bunnies, but they’re having none of it. Then the foxes find out and angrily approach the bunnies. It looks like there is going to be a fight, but the Fox and Bunny buddies get their people to calm down and get together for a picnic.

Parents can read Shiny Happy People as just a cute story or read social commentary into it. Do you know anyone like Fox and Bunny who are unlikely friends? Why are the other foxes and bunnies upset? Isn’t it better if everyone tries to get along?

Akashic Books


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