The Happiness Box : A Wartime Book of Hope – Greenwood, Mark

<p>The Happiness Box : A Wartime Book of Hope</p>


The Happiness Box : A Wartime Book of Hope


Greenwood, Mark


Greenwood, Mark


Walker Books

Published Date



There really was a book called, ‘The Happiness Box.’ In 1942 Australian prisoners of war created Christmas presents for children interned in Changi Prison, Singapore. One of those gifts was a book, ‘The Happiness Box’. It was a story of three friends: a lizard, a monkey and a frog who discover a box that contains the secrets to happiness. Sadly, the gifts were never received by those children. Instead, ‘The Happiness Box ‘was buried until the end of the war when it was unearthed. ‘The Happiness Box’ was published in 1947 and again in 1991. The original book is kept in the State Library of New South Wales. Mark Greenwood and Andrew McLean have put together the story of this remarkable book’s creation. This picture book shows an important part of our history and the challenges that so many went through during World War II. Notes at the end of the book give more details about the events and include a list of sources, useful for teachers or older students who want to find out more.

Key Concepts

Cultural traditions, Friendship, History, Hope, Peace, Relationships, Resilience, War


Primary, Secondary, Upper primary


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