Discover the Hero in You

Feeling different is not unusual for youngsters, but a likable heron shows how small steps can change everything and anyone can be a hero.


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Heronymus Heron Discovers His Shadow Book

An unusual children’s book about a clever bird who felt different and alone — that is, until his shadow convinced him otherwise.

This engaging, highly visual tale about a likable heron encourages children to celebrate what makes them unique, treasure their relationships, and value our differences. Hero’s journey is one of discovery that invites children to find the hero in themselves and others.

Read sample pages

(click to enlarge)

Hero the Heron Book pages 1-2
Hero the Heron Book pages 3-4
Hero the Heron Book pages 5-6

You’re going to love this beautifully crafted, photographic children’s book.

What people are saying about the book …

Tom Leigh, long-time illustrator of Sesame Street and Muppet books, says …

“The story of Heronymus is clever, warm and engaging and encourages children to think about their world in a very different way. It also brings them closer to the natural world as they get to know and appreciate Hero.
A wonderful book.”

Find Tom’s latest illustrations in Angus and Sadie and Bone Poems.

“A conversation starter at home and in the classroom.”

D. Sandmann, retired school superintendent

“This story celebrates curiosity and imagination, and encourages children’s confidence to discover.”

R. Siegfriedt, child and family counselor

“For every kid (and adult!) who doubts that they could be a hero, it’s time for them to meet Heronymus ...”

Patricia D. Perry, Ph.D., clinical psychologist

“… inspires children to discover the hero in themselves.”

Jim Cole, retired school principal and president of Race for Education

"The authors came and read hero the heron at Anna Maria Elementary and I loved it and I love how the authors wanted to share this and decided to make a book about a heron."

Isabella, Grade 3, Anna Maria Elementary School

Tell us what you think about Heronymus the Heron (and a Whole Lot More).  Add your review here.


“Heronymus Heron Discovers His Shadow (and a whole lot more)”

Book authors

Jan Williams

An avid wildlife photographer, Jan fell in love with a great blue heron she named Heronymus and, with her camera, captured his best angles and his shadows. With her four grandchildren in mind, she recruited talented storyteller Richard Skaare and, together, they visualized and wrote a tale that stirs the imagination and inspires heroism among readers and listeners.

Hero the Heron

Known to the locals as Henry and as Heronymus to others, Hero lives on the beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida. He is an accomplished fisherman, a popular attraction for tourists, and, until recently, a keep-to-himself bird. To all the other shorebirds — and to Jan and Richard — he is a dancer and a hero.

Richard Skaare

Richard spent his career as a corporate communicator and his life listening to and telling stories. A worldwide traveler, avocational writer and photographer, and a grandfather, Richard was taken by Jan Williams’ photos of Heronymus Heron and joined her to create the fun story of a bird who realized that being different does not stop you from becoming a hero.

Ron MacDonald

Owner of Step2 Branding & Design, Ron has been visualizing ideas and stories for years. When he heard the “Heronymus Discovers His Shadow” tale, he was hooked and produced this highly creative telling of the story.

Facts & Fun

How to Capture a Heron

How to Capture a Heron

To get the best pictures, you have to learn to think like a bird. I don’t like sudden movements around me — they scare me; and I don’t like people to get too close to me — that feels dangerous. Remember, I am a wild bird, not a pet.

read more
Crazy Facts About Herons

Crazy Facts About Herons

A heron is a heron, right? Nope. There are 64 different kinds. And did you know that the South Pole is the only place you won’t find a heron? And also did you know that the Great Blue Heron, like Heronymus, can be as tall as a third-grader but weigh about the same as a newborn baby.

read more
Birds Don’t Say “Thank You”

Birds Don’t Say “Thank You”

Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is a bird hospital in Florida where you don’t get many thanks. Keith Wilkins, who runs Seaside, laughs when he says that the birds they save “bite us, sometimes sink talons into us, and poop on us.” So, why work there? Because they’re all everyday heroes.

read more

Relatives and Friends of Hero the Heron

Click on a photo to discover a fun fact about that bird.

Contact Us

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