“Stories to heal” Lighthouse in the Storm does just that. This collection of 24 gripping, heartwarming stories deals with diverse real issues like love, loss ,disaster, guilt, child abuse, aggression and change.
The sensitive writing puts words to emotions that sometimes cannot be spoken about, and finds solutions or a way to cope with them by way of acceptance.
Lighthouse in the Storm is an outcome of the unique AWIC (Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children) Book Therapy Project which believes in the potential of the healing power of stories and their capacity to instill hope.
The stories span various parts of India, and also deal with real-life disasters or situations that a reader can immediately identify with. This makes the reader connect more intimately with the situation.
The language is lucid and delightfully picturesque, making visualizing easy. “He knew now when you cut two halves, they do not make any sense. When you join them together, they do. Then they form themselves into suns – complete, round, bright and smiling.” (Two Halves of a Smiling Sun by Sulekha Kumar). These lines translate the emotion of a Kashmiri boy who finds a mother by sewing together parts of a quilt.
“When all seems lost, we learn to look outwards, not inwards, and take comfort and peace from the things that surround us—every sunrise that brings new hope, this beautiful earth, love and friendship and all the things that sustain us!” (On a Summer’s Day by Mira Garg) advises without preaching.
“Children have an innate sense of what is right. Love and friendship comes to them as easily as breathing. It is outsiders who plant seeds of hatreds in later life. And these seeds take root-and here was the result! Destruction, death and misery! (The Blaze by Sapna Dutta) jolts one into introspection and a desire to make a change.
The cover design and illustrations by Jagdish Joshi support the text and this book is a must-read for any caregiver whether teacher or parent and even a child that has experienced - or not experienced the emotions outlined in the stories. The book would be an invaluable tool for teachers to dicuss similar situation that may have arisen in the school or could arise in it, as well.
The book is also available in a Hindi version: Toofan Mein Jyot. The ISBN number for it is 978-93-80637-06-8 and it is priced at Rs 175.
The authors include: Pratibha Nath, Deepa Agarwal, Dipavali Sen, Indira Ananthakrishnan, Sulekha Kumar, Ira Saxena, Ken Spillman, E Shailja Nair, Nilima Sinha, Paro Anand, Sangeeta Das Dutta, Girija Rani Asthana, Ramendra Kumar, Vinita Krishna, Meera Bhatnagar, Indira Bagchi, Nupur Awasthi, Debashish Majumdar, Mira Garg, Kiran Kasturia, Divya Jain, Manorama Jafa, Nita Berry and Swapna Dutta