Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

News

  • Written by Leah Cwikel


The Happiness Box by Mark Greenwood is the ultimate treasure for this year’s Book Week

A book about a book, created for children during WWII
 

In 1942, Australian sergeant Sir David “Griff” Griffin was a prisoner of war, held for three years and seven months in Changi Prison, Singapore. With Christmas approaching, Griff decided to make a book called The Happiness Box for the children interned in prison to chase away fear and inspire hope. With this year’s CBCA Book Week’s theme being Find Your Treasure, the timely release of The Happiness Box – award-winning creators Mark Greenwood and Andrew McLean’s book of the same name – brings to life the inspirational true story of a book that became a National Treasure. 

 

The Happiness Box was said to contain the secrets to happiness, but the enemy was suspicious. The book survived the war, having been buried by a senior officer in a cordite container. After the Japanese surrender, the book was returned to its author.

 

Written in extreme circumstances, the original book holds a prominent place in both Australian and Singaporean children’s literary history.

 

In 1990, Sir David Griffin donated the original book to the State Library of New South Wales, where it remains to this day. Between 2005 and 2007, hundreds of thousands of Australians saw the original book when it toured the country along with Sir Don Bradman’s cricket bat, Ned Kelly’s helmet and more than one hundred significant items, in the National Treasures from Australia’s Great Libraries exhibition.

 

While researching The Happiness Box, Mark was in close contact with Sir David Griffin’s son, Edward Griffin, whose knowledge was generously shared throughout the creation of this book.

 

Says “History Hunter” and author Mark Greenwood, “I am interested in blending history and story to create picture books with resonance, and that is what is lurking deep beneath the surface of The Happiness Box and what makes this book meaningful and important. At its core, The Happiness Box is a story about the power of reading and how books might very well be one of the secrets to our happiness – a great message to reinforce the power of books and storytelling.”

 

The Happiness Box is a beautifully illustrated and well-researched book. Not only is it an amazing resource for educating children about World War II, it is also a stunning story about the importance of happiness, friendship, compassion and courage. The story is accessible and uplifting, and is the perfect addition to any school, library or home bookshelf.

 

About the Author

Mark Greenwood is an author with a passion for history. His books have twice received the West Australian Premier’s Book Award. Simpson and His Donkey was a CBCA Honour Book and a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Jandamarra, illustrated by Terry Denton, was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council Awards and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for Children’s Literature. Mark often teams with his wife, illustrator Frané Lessac, to produce books that promote an understanding of multicultural issues, such as Drummer Boy of John John, Magic Boomerang and Outback Adventure. Their other books include Ned Kelly & The Green Sash, winner of the West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award, and Midnight - the story of a light horse, a CBCA notable book. Mark’s chapter book series, History Mysteries, delves into some of Australia’s most baffling mysteries. His new picture book is The Happiness Box.

 

About the Illustrator

Andrew McLean grew up in the Victorian country town of Bairnsdale. He trained as a painter and teacher, and taught in secondary schools before becoming a lecturer in painting and drawing at Caulfield Institute of Technology. He has been a full-time artist now for more than thirty years. Andrew and his wife Janet have created many picture books together, and Andrew also illustrates books written by other authors. Many of his books have been award winners: he has won the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award three times. Bob the Railway Dog (written by Corinne Fenton) was his first work with Walker.

WALKER BOOKS AUSTRALIA
Walker Books Australia has been bringing the best of children’s publishing to Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years. The company is dedicated to publishing books of unwavering quality for children and young adults to read and treasure. Walker Books Australia is also passionate about the Australian Children’s book industry and is a haven for the most highly talented authors and illustrators, both emerging and award-winning. Walker Books Australia is proud to be the home of Black Dog Books, an award-winning imprint with a reputation for publishing some of Australia’s finest writers including Carole Wilkinson, Sue Lawson and Suzy Zail.

 

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Closing the Gap Statement to Parliament

Mr Speaker, when we meet in this place, we are on Ngunnawal country. I give my thanks and pay my respects to our Ngunnawal elders, past, present and importantly emerging for our future. I honour...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Alan Jones

ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Alan.    JONES: I was just thinking last night when we're going to talk to you today, you must feel as though you've ...

News Company - avatar News Company

Prime Minister Bridget McKenzie press conference

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon everybody. The good news is that the Qantas flight is on its way to Wuhan and I want to thank everybody for their cooperation, particularly the Chinese Government as...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Choosing the Right Coworking Space For Your Business

As the capital of Victoria in Australia, Melbourne is inhabited by millions of people and is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world. The latter is due to the city’s diverse community...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

What Should You Expect from A Carpentry Apprenticeship?

Those wanting to pursue a career in woodwork, whether it be to make furniture, construct buildings or repair existing wooden structures, will have to first commence a carpentry apprenticeship. This ...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Tips To Choosing A Reliable SEO Company For Your Digital Marketing Agency

Working with a digital marketing agency Perth is the best bet in ensuring that your business is promoted well in the online space. If you are an app developer Perth, you may have to work closely wit...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

Travelling With Pets? Here Is What You Should Know

Only a pet parent can understand the dilemma one experiences while planning a vacation. Do you leave your pets at home?  Will you get a pet sitter or someone to take care of them while you are away?...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Be a Smart Frugal Traveller

You are looking through Instagram, watching story after story of your followers overseas at a beach in Santorini, walking through the piazza in Italy, and eating a baguette in front of the Eiffel ...

News Company - avatar News Company

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR GRADUATION TRIP

Graduation is the stage of life when a student receives the rewards of hard work of years. It must have taken sleepless nights and tiring days to achieve the task. Now, as you have received your cov...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo