This book is featured in our CBCA Awards 2019 page.
Honour Book in the Eve Pownall Award at the 2019 CBCA Awards
An inspiring narrative non-fiction picture book by award winners Mark Greenwood and Andrew McLean.
In 1942, Sergeant “Griff” Griffin was a prisoner of war. With Christmas approaching, he decided to make a book for the children cooped up in nearby Changi Prison. The book was said to contain the secrets to happiness. But the enemy was suspicious … With this picture book, award winners Mark Greenwood and Andrew McLean bring to life the inspirational true story of a book that became a National Treasure.
About the Author
- This is the true story of Australian prisoners of war who created a picture book called The Happiness Box as a Christmas present for children interned in Changi Prison.
- The book was written for children to chase away fear and give them hope, and contained the “secrets to happiness” such as the importance of friendship, kindness, compassion, generosity, loyalty, faith, courage and hard work.
- The Happiness Box survived the war. It toured Australia along with Sir Don Bradman’s cricket bat and Ned Kelly’s helmet as part of the National Treasures exhibition from Australia’s great libraries. The book currently resides in the State Library of NSW.
Mark Greenwood, who has a passion for history and legends, is the author of many books for children, published both in the United States and in his native Australia. His recent book, The Drummer Boy of John John
, was honoured by Kirkus Reviews (“Best of 2012”) and the Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee. The Donkey of Gallipoli
, illustrated by his wife, Frané Lessac, was a CBC Honour Book and a USBBY Outstanding International Book. His work has twice received the West Australian Premier’s Book Award. Jandamarra, illustrated by Terry Denton, was short-listed for the 2014 Children’s Book Council Awards. Mark’s latest books include The Mayflower
, published by Holiday House, and Midnight
, published by Walker Books Australia and New Zealand and Candlewick Press in the US.