A Bluebird Picture Lantern (and a Bluebird Story for You)

When I was about 5 or 6 my mother took me to a screening of the 1940 movie The Bluebird starring Shirley Temple, based on the 1908 play by Maurice Maeterlinck. The story is about a brother & sister, Tyltyl and Mytyl, who are sent out by the fairy Berylune into various magical realms to search for the Bluebird of Happiness. Returning home empty-handed, the children see that the bird has been in a cage in their home the whole time. When Tyltyl gives the bird as a gift to a neighbor's sick child, the bird flies away. The moral is that, ultimately, happiness can be found within oneself.

There are two scenes from this movie which have stayed in my mind all these years later... The first magical realm the children visit is a cottage where their deceased grandparents live. The children have a nice visit with their grandparents, however as they prepare to leave, there is sadness. The grandparents reassure the children that, although they no longer reside in the world of the living, as long as the children hold them in their memories, they will still be awakened to life.

The second scene I loved showed Tyltyl and Mytyl visiting a misty realm where children are waiting to be born. In this realm they are guided by a personification of LIGHT and meet a child who will be born as a new baby into their family.

I hope you find the Bluebird of Happiness in your home and within yourself... always...


  1. That and the Little Princess are my very favorite Shirley Temple Movies. I believe I bought the video to show to Amanda when she was little. I'm going to have to dig it up and watch it again! Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Wow! They don't make them like they used to. I want to see that film! xx

  3. Intriguing. I love the idea of the Light place where the baby souls are waiting. Lovely.

  4. My goodness...you have a real talent for making these beautiful little lanterns!
    Love this one too!!
    xo maureen

  5. How pretty! I'll have to make this for our nature table, my kids always enjoy the glow of candles and I love how this looks when it's lit.

  6. If you can ever find a copy of the book, it is WONDERFUL. When it was published, it was like the Harry Potter of its time - people where crazy for it and stores would create window displays with scenes from the book to draw in customers. There's a sequel, too, but not quite as good called The Betrothal. The two scenes you cited are the ones that also stand out for me.

    1. Yes, I have a copy of the play of The Bluebird, however, someday I'd like to track down a picture book version of the story...

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!


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