Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Happy Wagon (Inspired by Stargirl)

Stargirl is the book and the character I fell in love with years and years ago, even though I read the series backwards, which I think I was pretty fortunate to have accidentally done because it was so much better that way. The character, Stargirl, is the sweetest Earthling, though her name and adorableness would suggest other-worldly origins. The first book is from the point of view of somebody wondering about her and getting to know her, and then the sequel is from her point of view as she writes a letter to the somebody in book one. I was only a couple pages in to Love, Stargirl when I realized how much I wanted to be Stargirl--or maybe I was her already? She was the Me I wanted to be. I took note of all the things she did throughout the book that gave me butterflies so I could live on with part of her inside me. One of my favorite quirks of hers was her Happy Wagon, which Silkworm and I decided to finally recreate for ourselves--and teach you how to recreate, too!

Collect overflowing handfuls of pebbles from somewhere like the beach or a park. If you'd like to, you can paint them. Put them next to some kind of small container (a mini bucket, a mason jar,...) sitting in a readily accessible spot. You'll probably want to drop your first pebble into your Happy Wagon because you're probably quite happy about your new project, and that's what you do when happiness bubbles up inside you--anytime you feel happy, you drop a pebble into your Happy Wagon, and when you feel sad, you take a pebble out. When it fills up, you turn into a unicorn. I'm speaking from experience. Okay, okay, I'm kidding, but you'll feel like a unicorn knowing you've been so happy lately that it filled your Happy Wagon full, so that's cool.

In the book, Stargirl doesn't put a list of things to do when she's sad next to her Happy Wagon, but Silkworm and I thought it would be a nice touch, so we wrote down the things below and tucked it under our bucket for reference whenever we have to take a pebble out:

1. Read our Emergency Joke Book.
2. Watch videos of dogs eating with human hands.
3. Play a silly game.
4. Go sailing in our walnut boat.
5. Sketch or paint.
6. Make a garland.
7. Take a walk or go for a bike ride.
8. Play with Hadley and Quibble.
9. Build a fire and roast things.
10. Play guitar and sing.

Let us know if you make a Happy Wagon for yourself, and tell us how you did! And if you've ever read the Stargirl books, tell us if you fell head-over-heels in love with Stargirl, too!


  1. Aaah yes! Stargirl is of my favourite books ever. I think on some unconscious level it made me start to play the ukulele. I didn't know there was a sequel until a few months back, when I got the book from my boyfriend (he knows me well ;) ). But the first one will forever be the best. Don't you love her little workplace at Archies? It made me want to have my own little atelier with the sole purpose of making beautiful and thoughtful things for others :)

    1. Ah, you too?! I don't even remember which book was which; I read them both so long ago that my memory of them kind of blends--and I almost forgot she played the ukelele! I know, me too--I just wholly and completely want to embody all that is Stargirl. :)


Silkworm and I love hearing what other people think. In fact, it's probably our favorite thing, so don't be shy to leave us a note or ask a question!

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