By Alice Ahearn*
Creativity, music and laughter combined in our recent event at Tales on Moon Lane! On a beautiful sunny autumn morning on the Friday of half term, around fifteen children and their parents came to the Herne Hill bookshop to discover whether or not it’s possible to bottle happiness.
After everyone had filed in and settled down on rugs and sofas, I started by reading A Bottle of Happiness to them. The children seemed enthralled by the heartwarming tale of a poor child who sets out to prove to rich town-dwellers that happiness, love, music and laughter are worth far more than you can measure in wealth. And at the point in the story when Pim sings a song for the townspeople to dance to, the children were so keen to join in that they picked up the tune almost faster than I could make it up.
Then we talked about what would go into our own bottles of happiness, writing them up inside a giant bottle. All the children were full of lovely ideas including ‘friends’, ‘Lego’, ‘the sun’, ‘unicorns’, and ‘my dad’. This last was followed eventually, with some prompting from the parent involved, by ‘my mum’!
Finally it was time for the children to try out Pim’s idea for themselves. We gave every child a plastic bottle filled with glitter, pom-poms, feathers and other sparkly things. Then it was out with the paper and felt-tip pens for everyone to write down their own ideas, cut them out and add them to their own personal bottles of happiness. I could see all sorts of exciting and wonderful ideas going into the bottles, both written and drawn, and there was a cheerful babble of conversation between parents and children about the kinds of things that made them happy.
At last the time came to pack up, and the attendees headed back into the sunshine, bottles of happiness in hand. We’d like to thank the team at Tales on Moon Lane for hosting us in their wonderful shop, and everyone who came to make it such a joyful event!
*Alice Ahearn is the Publisher’s Assistant at Tiny Owl Publishing
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