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How to Make a Heron Happy

Lari Don
Nicola O’Byrne


Range: Picture Kelpies Paperback 24 pages colour illustrations 254 x 210 mm ISBN: 9780863158049 Publication date: 7 April 2011
Genre: Animals Ideal for ages: 3, 4, 5 and 6

The heron in the local park always looks sad and grumpy, so Hamish decides to cheer it up. He brings food, tidies the heron’s dirty pond, plants flowers, and has a party. But the heron still looks grumpy. Maybe it isn't unhappy after all?

A charming story from Edinburgh-based writer and storyteller, Lari Don.


'I'd recommend this as a shared read - or perhaps for new readers (an often overlooked picture book audience, I think). The text and illustrations focus rather nicely on things to do in a park and how to improve your local area, and are brilliant as a focus for discussion ... I'd definitely recommend this, whether as a family read or for a primary classroom.'
-- Thoughts from the Heartfire blog

'I liked that as you got further into the book, more was happening in the park, which is initially desolate and unused, so I found two positive messages; the second is Hamish's conclusion about the heron. A great story about a park!'
-- Juno Magazine, March 2011

'With only a line or two of text on the page and plenty of repetition, this is ideal for beginning readers. O'Byrne's illustrations have the look of pen-and-ink sketches with watercolor. Ranging from vignettes to double-page spreads, they both support and add to the narrative, showing the heron in a variety of poses and the park gradually becoming more beautiful and more populated.
As read-aloud or read-alone, a nice addition to the caring-for-our environment collection.'
-- Kirkus Reviews

'A feel-good story from an Edinburgh-based author ... The illustrations are stunning, colourful, informal with a watercolour effect. There is much use of green colouring for the park. Perhaps the use of this colour could be used to emphasise to our young readers the importance of green open spaces, parks, pond birds and flowers. Parks are very pleasant places to be! This is also a great book for reading aloud, which would also encourage imagination and discussion.'
-- The School Librarian

How to Make a Heron Happy


Lari Don has worked in politics and broadcasting, but is now a full-time writer and storyteller. She grew up in the north-east of Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She is the author of more than 20 children’s books for all ages from picture books and…

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Nicola O’Byrne was born in Swaziland and has lived in Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Kenya and Edinburgh. She studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and then completed a Masters in printmaking in London. She bases her illustrations on real observations and can usually be…

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