This is a lovely little picturebook which raises big questions. A dog, apparently depressed with his life asks a wise ram what happiness is. In reply the ram tells the dog the story of Selma, a sheep enjoying a simple existence involving a daily routine of feeding, playing with her children, talking with a friend and sleeping. When a journalist interviews her and asks what she would do if she had more time she repeats her routine, clearly happy to fill any extra hours with exactly the same activities. The reporter challenges her again, asking what she would do if she had a million dollars. Once more Selma replies in exactly the same way suggesting she would not change a thing about her life, she is perfectly content with it.
Originally published in Germany in 2003, Gekko Press’s reprint will bring this philosophical, thought provoking story to a new audience. The small format is delightful and the illustrations amusing and appealing. The simple text belies the depth of its message, encouraging young readers to question, just as the dog in the story does, what it means to be content, whether money buys happiness, the value of friends and family and the pleasures a simple life can offer.