How to Make a Heron Happy by Lari Don


How to Make a Heron Happy by Lari Don

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.


'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.'

'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!'

'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.'

'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.'

About the Author

Lari Don

Lari Don is an award-winning author and storyteller who loves sharing traditional tales from all over the world. Lari was born in Chile, and brought up in Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh with her family. She has worked in politics and for the BBC, but now spends her time passing on old stories and making up new ones. She is a traditional storyteller, as well as an award-winning children’s author; her fiction is inspired by her love of myths, legends and fables.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


24 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Lari Don
More books by Lari Don

Author's Website


Publication date

25th March 2011



We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

Lovereading 4 schools