A colorfully illustrated book of advice that invites introspection.
In this collection of 57 free-verse inspirations, former teacher Guenette (Life in a Nutshell, 2011) adds a second book to her series for parents and caregivers to enjoy with their young children. The brief passages address dozens of valuable themes, ranging from the spiritual (unity, love, gratitude, and forgiveness) to the practical (movement and nutrition). The author’s overall goal is to introduce “positive human values at a young age,” and she offers her take on standard self-help ideas (“Snake sheds his skin once a month / so he can continue to grow. / You too sometimes need to let go / of certain things, / so that you can continue / to change”) along with less-expected topics, such as “Collaboration” (“Think of WE rather than ME”) and “Charisma.” All of the advice offers young and old readers opportunities for contemplation and thoughtful discourse, and it presents a positive message to start or end a day or to sharpen one’s focus during difficult times. Individually or in combination, the passages support her family-friendly goal: “Moments of silence are opportunities for both adult and child to connect within their inner most self, which is a key component in the process of communication.” Self-taught Canadian artist Moulyn provides fanciful, vibrant drawings of familiar and exotic animals, including some that are humorously anthropomorphized (such as a flamingo in rain boots and an elephant and rhinoceros enjoying an evening cocktail together). Moulyn notes that “Color…creates highly intensified thoughts and sensations,” and she implements it “to stir inner awakenings, growths and realizations.” Each passage has a corresponding thematic image and caption. “Use the images to spawn heart to heart conversations,” notes the author, although the awkward use of perspective in several of them does suggest the value of formal art training.
Child-friendly homilies and homegrown art designed to inspire thoughtful conversation.