How to Make a Heron Happy, Paperback

How to Make a Heron Happy Paperback

Illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne

Part of the Picture Kelpies series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Hamish is worried about the heron in the park. It always looks sad and grumpy, with its hunched-up shoulders and long frowning eyebrows.

So Hamish decides to cheer it up: first he brings bread crusts and biscuit crumbs to the park.

But the heron still looks grumpy. Next he brings his family to tidy up the heron's polluted pond.

But the heron still looks grumpy. Then he brings his class to plant flowers around the pond.

But the heron still looks grumpy. Finally he brings everyone he knows to have a party for the heron.

But the heron still looks grumpy. Hamish looks at the heron and wonders: maybe the heron isn't unhappy after all?

Each page of this delightful story from popular children's author and storyteller, Lari Don, is brought to life with vibrant illustrations.

Colour and activity build up as the book progresses and the drab inner-city park is brought to life.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 24 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture storybooks
  • ISBN: 9780863158049



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

When Hamish notices that the heron at the local park looks grumpy, he decides to do something about it. The crusts of bread he brings make the ducks happy, but the heron still looks grumpy. The clean-up of the heron's pond that he organizes makes the neighbours happy, but the heron still seems grumpy. The flower-planting project her starts makes the butterflies happy, but the heron still looks grumpy. Nothing Hamish does seems to make the heron happy, until it occurs to him that maybe he isn't looking at things in the right way...Part of Edinburgh-based Floris Books' <i>Picture Kelpies</i> line, intended to highlight and promote picture-books created by Scottish authors and illustrators, and featuring Scottish themes, <u>How to Make a Heron Happy</u> is an engaging tale of a good-hearted young boy who sees a problem, and wants to make a difference. The story encourages the reader to consider, not just the importance of keeping parks and green spaces clean and well-maintained, but also the neccesity of abandoning our human-centric perspectives, if we really want to gain a better understanding of the needs of wildlife. It takes Hamish quite a while to realize that his assumptions about the heron's level of contentment are based on a 'reading' of the bird's face that might not be so useful. Maybe, he eventually thinks, herons can't smile with such hard beaks... maybe, the author encourages us to think, a smile isn't the only indicator of happiness. This is an important lesson to learn, and it is delivered subtly in the story, with no great fanfare. Recommended to young nature lovers, and to children who long to make the world a better place.

Also in the Picture Kelpies series   |  View all