Take Heart, Take Action by Beci Orpin

Reviewed by Angela Marie

“Gratitude means being thankful for the good things you have in your life and truly appreciating them. It could be a person or an event or a delicious treat. Can you think of three things you are grateful for?”

Our talented Australian designer and illustrator, Beci Orpin, has created a beautiful handbook for hope in Take Heart, Take Action. This book arose from Beci’s well-liked Instagram post and is saturated with suggestions for a sustainable and ethically-lived life. Beci offers up twenty points for consideration, each occupying its own full page. Styled in striking block colour, and with a minimum of words nestled within a graphic illustration that symbolises the concept. We are reminded to Be Kind, Show Compassion, Be Mindful, Have Gratitude. We are encouraged to Protect Nature, Save Water, Support Local, Eat Less Meat. 

We are guided to help us understand that, as individuals, we do have power. Make Your Voice Heard. Solidarity. Vote. Protest. Disrupt. Beci has carefully avoided being specific from a political viewpoint, but openly pushes that you need to know that you make the difference. Your ideas count. Associate with like-minded people. Be certain that you have a right to your opinion and to express it. 

Each topic, with its own mini symbol, is addressed at the back of the book. The dialogue explains each concept in language that is readily understood, leaving room for further discussion.

Overarching all is Have Hope. 

“You often hear bad things about the world we live in, but don’t lose hope! There are lots of things you can do to make positive changes – that is what this book is all about!”

From this reviewer’s perspective, this is a timely and thoughtful book. Our little people are like sponges, soaking up both the positive vibes and, sadly, also the negative. And there are plenty of them. How wonderful to have a text that can help create balance, harmony and peace of mind within the individual. Although Take Heart, Take Action is primarily presented as a book for children, it is a reminder to all that there is hope for the future and we can help propel that hope along. And we can act to ensure that we have a happy future. 

We know the importance of dialogue between generations. As adults, our thinking can become stale and we do not always act on our beliefs and principles, allowing work schedules and demands to infiltrate.  Take Heart, Take Action can act as a checklist or an end-of-day sit down. Something to break the “What did you do at school today? Nothing.” that closes communication rather than elevating it.

My biggest concern is that I will succumb to the desire to pull the pages out and display the slogans in frames around my home. Because this book is a beautiful unit and perfect just as it is.

Beci Orpin is often referred to as our “high priestess of design and illustration”. She happily calls Melbourne home, although loves to travel in Asia and is influenced by its various cultures. Her work is readily identifiable and it is no surprise that she is influenced by Dick Bruna and Mirka Mora. And no surprise that Beci grew up with an upbringing influenced by strong political convictions and alternate thinking. 

Beci’s influence abounds. She has worked with Justine Clark as Art Director on her film clips, designed for the fashion label, Gorman, and recently fronted the kikki. K Resolution Canvas campaign. 

As a freelance visual and graphic artist, Beci Orpin’s work abounds. I was not surprised to discover that she generously participates with socially responsible, ethical companies such as Who Gives A Crap (who to date have contributed over $2.5 million towards improving sanitary conditions in underdeveloped areas). 

In interviews, Beci has shared that she becomes bored easily and doesn’t choose to stay safe all the time. That you don’t learn and grow by staying safe. Another wise observation. And she admits that projects don’t always go to plan. She has written four DIY books and a number of books for children. 

Take Heart, Take Action


Written and Illustrated by Beci Orpin

Hachette (A Lothian Children’s Book)

ISBN 978 0 7344 1986 6

pp 26; HB $19.99; Ebook $9.99

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