How to be content is something that can take a life time to work out. This seems such a shame. As we get older we realise that life is all too short and we would be wise to make the most of it. I am actively seeking happiness rather than just expecting it to happen these days. I was delighted to get a copy of “How to be Content” to review.

Beautiful book

The first thing that struck me about the book is that it is so attractive with a green hardback and a purple heart cut-out. It just puts you in a good mood as soon as you look at it and I think it would make a lovely gift for any occasion. There are stunning illustrations  throughout the book by Joanne Parry. I cannot get over to you what joy these give.

How to be content

The  book is by Dr. Arlene K. Unger and you can see the amount of research  that has gone into it. It is easy to read whilst covering some very deep topics.  There are four sections to the book covering the Natural World, Cultures Around the World, Mythology and Folklore and Philosophers, Writers and Poets. Each of these is broken down into sub-sections of around 2 pages each so it is really easy to dip in and out of. Having said that I kept it by my side and read it all in a few days. It has a magical quality to it that means you make time for it perhaps because you are seeking contentment, perhaps because it contains great wisdom or perhaps because it is so good to look at.

What next?

Now that I have read the book, I immediately want to go back and really focus on one topic at a time drawing the learning from it. I like to think this book acts as a bit of a launch pad into further investigation, reflection and self-care practice.

Practical action

The book gives so much inspiration but also gives practical and simple steps for you to improve your happiness perhaps by meditating, doing good deeds for others, singing or paring back on your needs. It is a small book really of just 175 pages and yet I can already see how life-changing this book can be.

Author and Illustrator

Dr. Arlene Unger is a California-based clinical psychologist and wellness coach, with thirty years of experience in the field. In her busy practice, The Empowerment Centre, she emphasises the need to find life balance – and to let go of the judgment and self-criticism that can hold us back. She blends clinical expertise with her intuition and imagination, treating people face-to-face but also specialising in online coaching and counselling. She uses a wide range of therapeutic tools, including Mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Emotional Brain Training.

Jo Parry is a professional illustrator and artist. She describes her artwork as “fun, bold, colour-inspired and unpretentious” and usually works in soft pastels. Her hobbies outside the artistic field include photography, travel, sport and cooking.


How To Be Content

Cuddle Fairy

We’re Hungry Too by Sylvia Green a book with a message. It is for younger readers but I enjoyed reading it and will be sharing with my children as part of our home education journey. I have made the decision that we are not going to limit our reading missing out on the magic of books for younger children particularly as they are so often beautifully illustrated and have moral messages to share.

We're Hungry Too

The story

The story is about a little girl who is staying with her Auntie. Food is relevant both  the meals and treats provided as part of her sleepover but also in other ways as they spend the day together.

The characters

The main characters are Ellie and Auntie Miranda. The book is also filled with animals who really do bring the book to life especially as they speak particularly about their rumbly tummies.

The message

We’re hungry too shows how we don’t always see the full picture in any given situation. It encourages us to be more aware of what is actually going on by observing and communicating. That’s a particularly powerful life lesson right there.

We’re hungry too

Hunger is a big issue and a disturbing one. This book introduces the topic in a accessible way which will not upset young readers. That is great in itself but the book also gives resources so that your family can get involved in the battle against hunger via a variety of good causes listed in the book.

The author

Sylvia said: “I included the organisations at the end of the book as they are all caring organisations which tie in with my motivation for writing the book.  That is, caring for all of creation not just the obvious or more appealing creatures.  Also I wanted to show that you don’t have to be an adult to help animals or people – there is a lot that children can do and the websites featured give good ideas and advice.


Sylvia Green is the author of a popular series of Christmas animal stories including The Best Christmas Present Ever (Second edition 2014), The Christmas Wish (2004) and The Christmas Pony (2001), all published by Scholasttic. She lives in Walton-upon-Thames, Surrey with her family and two cats.

We're Hungry Too


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