Aruna Khanzada had been living on Bridge Approach for a year and making daily trips to the top of Primrose Hill with her children when she started writing and illustrating Harrison Braves the Hill. It is a book for young children which encompasses the family’s happy memories. It features Dolly, the dog who belongs to Chloe Lee at Chloe’s Espresso – many of you will have seen Dolly crossing the bridge, always keen to make new friends.
Harrison the Chick lives at the foot of Primrose Hill but has never ventured to the top of the hill as he is not very brave. His friend Laila the Caterpillar leaves Harrison to make her cocoon in one of the trees up the hill. Dolly the Dog befriends Harrison and encourages him to face his fears and climb to the top of the hill ‒ just in time to see Laila emerge as a butterfly. In a nod to the now-removed graffiti ‘And the view is so nice …’, Laila shows Harrison the view from the top of Primrose Hill.
The story is about friendship, overcoming fears and taking responsibility, and is also a story of metamorphosis and change.
The illustration on the last page features the buildings on the plaque at the top of the hill, and would make a lovely guide for parents and children. There is an illustrated reference to the Ambika memorial at the zoo, as well as a picture of Guy the Gorilla.
Harrison Braves the Hill is available from Chloe’s Espresso on Bridge Approach (123 Regents Park Road, London NW1 8BE) at £9 for the paperback and £16 for the hardback. A percentage from each sale will go towards the Primrose Hill Community Association fundraising appeal.