The Message We Got From A Little Light by Andrew Newman

Earlier this month, the Art Wonderland team was in the middle of our research for one of our online initiatives and came across a meaningful series of mindfulness books for children by Andrew Newman called Conscious Stories.

(Image Source: Conscious Stories Facebook)


What struck us most about these short stories were the relatable metaphors used by the author to communicate otherwise deep emotions and difficult situations our younger audiences might experience. With the recent spike in mental health related happenings that occur in our day-to-day lives, the team realised that the discovery of these books came at the perfect time and that we had to tap on the books as valuable resources that could open up a safe space for our children to have difficult conversations surrounding mental health.


In keeping with Mental Health Awareness Month this October, we decided to organise a series of storytelling sessions in which two of them would feature the reading of some of Andrew Newman's conscious stories. The series started with the story of A Little Light where it tells us about the journey a shining light goes through to bring back its dwindling glow.


(Image Source: Screenshots from the recording of the reading of A Little Light by Teacher Charlene)


As we dove into the story, it begun with a subtle connection to the character of the book - not the boy that we see on the front cover but the little light that shines within him. With Andrew Newman's beautiful choice of words, he helped the reader realise right away that the little light in the story is actually each and every one of us.



With each turn of the page, we discover more about what makes the little light glow and shine, and very quickly what makes it dim and dark. It was at this moment of the story that we felt was a great way to inquire within ourselves: What causes us to get 'clouded'? Where do these 'clouds' come from? How do these 'clouds' make us feel?



Best accompanied with a hands-on reflection activity, these questions can be a great way to discover what affects the minds of our little ones and thoughts that lead to negative feelings. The following printable also serves as a storytelling prop young ones can use to participate in a live storytelling of A Little Light.


(Image Source: Accompanying printable for A Little Light - My Dark Cloud)


The story then goes on to find out how the little light attempts to resolve his dimming glow as he moves from doctor, to religion and to therapists, his journey reflects many of our own when we want to seek help. Ah, but the author does it again with a beautiful spin to the story that comes with the realisation that any help can be good help as long as it is considered and applied in wholeness of our mind, body and soul. What a lovely way to encourage our young ones about seeking help!


(Image Source: Accompanying printable for A Little Light - What Makes Me Whole?)


We imagine that another hands-on reflection activity will have to be the best way to conclude this insightful story, and also an opportunity for them to think about who they turn to for help, and even activities they do or places they go to to help them feel better. Some questions we imagine asking our little ones to think about include: Who do you go to when you feel like you are losing your light? Are there any people you spend time with that help your mind, body and soul?


An insightful story with so many meaningful messages and opportunities for reflection, A Little Light taught us that self-care comes in many shapes and forms and that darkness is only temporary.


 



About Stacy


Stacy believes that learning can take place any time, anywhere and with a lot of fun! Dedicated to designing artistic experiences, Stacy wants to provide children with unique ways to discover the world around them.