Happy place in new book

By Aaron van Delden

Brooklyn Kaipo-Thompson's sgraffito painting helps illustrate a book of happy thoughts.

The Keith St School pupil found out late last year that his picture had been selected for inclusion in My Happy Place.

Proceeds from the book will go to KidsCan, which provides food, raincoats and shoes to children in need.

In Wanganui, the charity partners with Castlecliff, Churton, Keith St and Tawhero schools.

Partner schools provided illustrations for the book.

Brooklyn's teacher in 2012, Mitzi Madden, said he and his classmates were tasked with illustrating the proverb that KidsCan nominated for them: "Reach for the stars."

They submitted their artwork and waited "on and on", before finding out Brooklyn's painting would be adorning the work of one of 54 New Zealanders, including Bill Manhire, Boh Runga, Dick Frizzell and Maurice Gee, who each contributed their happy thoughts and memories - their "happy place".

The book's creator, Melissa Mebus, thought it would be nice to collect happy thoughts and set to work on My Happy Place after catching a television interview of KidsCan CEO Julie Chapman talking about the child-focused charity.

Brooklyn said he was proud to see his artwork in the book, and so were his parents and teachers.

The 10-year-old likes drawing, maths and rugby, and aspires "maybe to be an All Black one day".

Sgraffito is a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of contrasting colour.

My Happy Place is for sale at selected bookshops and at smallfish.co.nz.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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