If the current COVID-19 pandemic has taught anything, is that the most precious and happy moments in life are often derived from the simple things.
Enter, 'Where Happiness Hides', the latest offering from author and entrepreneur Anthony Bertini who with a team of volunteers including international acts such as Greta Scacchi and Mary Coustas have brought to life a tale for both children and adults.
It is this child-like love in the discovery for happiness in the simple things that attracted Coustas to volunteer like many others to the project, and narrate the audio book version in her native Greek.
"As adults we can forget what happiness is. We way too often choose ambition over discovery. But looking at the world through a child’s eyes we see that curiosity, adventure and playfulness bring the greatest joy. Letting awe and gratitude dance hand in hand over the simplest things is where happiness lives. This book is a beautiful reminder of this,” adds Mary Coustas.
We all know happiness can be found in little things, but sometimes we simply forget. We forget because life gets in the way. The weather changes, things don’t go to plan, a global health pandemic takes over our news cycle and our lives, our borders are closed down … and we forget what really matters.
Through humble dialogue and stellar drawings, 'Where Happiness Hides' is an extraordinary tale in an extraordinary time that reminds adults and children across the world that happiness is free and that it exists eternally in the little things around us.
Inspired by the brevity and preciousness of life, Anthony Bertini spins a tale of endearing observations. At the heart of 'Where Happiness Hides', two children find pleasure in the little things: a bowl of soup, beetles, sunshine and shadows, but also in disappointment and in hope. Meditative, inspiring and filled with soulful warmth, 'Where Happiness Hides' invites children and the child in us all to savour the moment and find joy in the little things.
“This has been the most exciting project I have been involved in. I have to thank Dirt Lane Press for sharing my vision and making everything happen. To imagine millions of children reading Where Happiness Hides during this difficult time is just wonderful,” says Bertini.
Published by Dirt Lane Press, this beautifully illustrated picture-book encourages children to find magic in everyday moments and happiness in little things.
“This is possibly the most inspiring adventure of my publishing career. It aligns perfectly with the aims of Dirt Lane Press, which is to reach out to audiences who don’t always have access to books, and to inspire and delight with meaningful fables. Sharing a book freely with the widest range of readers possible – in this case, by offering it in 35 or more languages – is what Dirt Lane Press is all about,” says publisher Margrete Lamond.
As Coustas narrates in Greek, children in Greece and in Australia can listen to the tale in 'Where Happiness Hides' in their ancestral language as they flick through beautiful illustrations.
Illustrator Jennifer Goldsmith said that the project gave her “the opportunity to remember the moments of joy with which life gifts us, often when we least expect them. It was a chance to look back on memories of my children’s childhoods and re-imagine the characters finding similar happiness. The story’s message of appreciating little things isn’t unique to any one nation or culture. It’s humbling to know that it can be enjoyed in so many languages at a time when it’s never been so important to think of and include others.”
The book is currently available online for free and is offered in up to 30 languages including English, Greek, Swahili, Dinka, Telugu, French, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, German, Marathi, Japanese, Russian and more. Where Happiness Hides also comes in an English audible version narrated by the adored Italian-Australian actress, Greta Scacchi.