The Happy Valley

The Happy Valley by Eric Berne

Published in 1968, this is Dr. Berne’s first “unpsychiatric” book.  Although the colorful illustrations might lead the naive reader to believe that this book is for children only, this is not the case.  The book follows the adventures of a python named Shardlu, who is described as “was not very handsome to look at, and not very clever. In fact, he was a little mixed up. The only way he could earn a living was by being kind to people on Tuesday night and Friday morning.”

Children will enjoy this book for the colorful illustrations and the fantasies it provokes. Adults will enjoy this book for the deeper messages embedded in what appears to be a simple children’s story.

A very interesting review of A Happy Valley can be found here.

This book is no longer in print but used versions are available on