When I was in London recently in February 2020, this book was displayed in all major bookstores. Then I started reading rave reviews about it. Then I heard people talking about this book online and on television. Why is a children’s book making so much noise, I wondered. The next time I entered Waterstones, I picked up this book and went through the pages. There are lots of illustration and the words were few. Should I be paying £17 for a children’s book? I decided not to.
Fast forward to April 2020 in Lahore. I see the same book at Readings, and contemplated whether I should get it or not. On an impulse, I picked it up…
…and I was certainly not prepared to have my mind blown!
My immediate reaction upon finishing this book was: Wow! Everyone needs to read this book. This is certainly not a children’s book! It has some eternal truths which adults can benefit from. Along with the few words, the illustrations are a lot of fun to see. I am a very visual-oriented person and so to read the text along with the illustrations just made the story so much more rich, profound, and meaningful.
This is a story about a boy who is lonely and strikes up a friendship with a mole. They spend time together and go into the wild, and as the author says, “the wild is a bit like life frightening sometimes but beautiful.” They then meet the fox and eventually a huge horse. The author, Charlie Mackesy, goes on to say that “they are all different, like us, and each has their own weaknesses. I can see myself in all four of them, perhaps you can too.”
The book has so many life-affirming messages, or as I would like to say, reminders. In our adult lives, we are so consumed with our daily tasks we often forget to pause and take a breath, and before we know it, our life has passed right before our eyes. During the current time where we are all going through such an unprecedented time, there is a lot of uncertainty and we aren’t sure how everything will pan out.
This book served as a great reminder to me to practice the art of self-care. Below are two sample pages I have scanned in to give a basic idea of how amazing these reminders have been to me. I wish I could scan in the whole book to share such wisdom, but I’ll probably get int trouble.
I would highly recommend this book to both adults and children, and perhaps can be read together as a family to give yourself this very important life-affirming messages for a life of happiness and peace and joy. Themes around friendships, love, kindness, encouragement, self-love are beautifully emanated.
One of the best parts of the book, as the boy realizes he is good enough as he is. This is a massive issue with a lot of people who live with an “I am not good enough” attitude. We are all good enough as we are, we just need to realize that!
I loved this part. Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. Once we learn and adapt to this truth, everything becomes so much easier!
Sometimes, we can understand life’s complexities in a much simpler way through the eyes of the little ones. This book does just that.
In the author’s words, “So I say spread your wings and follow your dreams.”