The Brown Bottle, A Children’s Story

The Brown Bottle by Penny Jones is a 1983 children's book that helps young people understand addiction. It is an illustrated book about a caterpillar who is seduced by a brown bottle and fails to turn into a butterfly. Listen in to this podcast as the group talks about similar experiences in their addiction.

Discussion Guide:

Do you believe this is an appropriate book for children as an explanation of addiction? How have you explained your addiction to your children?

How did alcoholism sneak up on Charlie? In what way did your addiction sneak up on you?

How is Charlie seduced by the brown bottle?

Charlie's friends could not get him to leave the bottle. Have your friends tried to help you leave your addiction?

The Promise represents the process of caterpillars becoming butterflies. What does The Promise represent for you?

Charlie insists that he can leave the bottle at any time. Is this simply denial, or are there barriers to his leaving the bottle?

Charlie dies frail and alone. Do you believe your addiction would lead to death without intervention?

How can The Promise be fulfilled in your life?

Are there ways in which you are changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly?

Supplemental Reading:

The Brown Bottle, Penny Jones