“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”
This book, “Her name was Flower” with its simple language, illustrations, and a short book-length may look like a children’s book but the message it conveys is so impactful and powerful. It is written by Imani Cortez and the beautiful illustrations are by Alexandra Ignatova. It is a 30-page book, apt for kids and adults alike. All the profits generated from sales of this book will directly support various charitable causes in Africa.
It talks about the journey of a girl, Flower. Her father is Mr. Moon and her mother is Mrs. Sun. Her mother always made it a point to ensure that the flower felt her mother’s love and care deeply. This is such an important aspect of relationships. Most of the time, we love people so much but shy away from exhibiting, showing our affection due to various reasons. What is the use of such love when the person we love, lives in oblivion, and secluded from experiencing such bliss? Emotions are there to be shared and relished.
According to the story, Flower’s father Mr. Moon was very wise and calm and trusted Mrs. Sun to raise their daughter the right way. This is another crucial aspect of any relationship. Trust- it forms the basis of any relation and when children see their parents having a bond of love and trust, they feel more secure and flourish better. Mr. Moon was both wise and calm and no matter what, he always came to hug Flower and told her enriching bedtime stories. This gesture conveys so much. Generally, fathers are the main bread-earners of s family and have erratic work schedules. But even then, Mr. Moon took out time for Flower and also made it a point to show his affection for his daughter and give her lessons of life, masked in bedtime stories.
One of Flower’s favorite stories was about “the wishing stars” which said that there would be a time on Earth when humans would not know what it would be like to “dream” about something. They would have no emotions. This story reiterates the importance of emotions and the need to share them with your loved ones. Also, it emphasizes the importance of dreams. Dreams, hope, goals are so important to keep us going. It also talks about caring for the people around us. It says, being kind and caring should not allow you to watch idly while someone else is having hardships. True kindness manifests itself when you help someone overcome those hardships.
Now Mrs. Sun, like all mothers loved to spend time with Flower. She would wake her up early in the morning but gradually Flower started sleeping till noon and did not want to be disturbed early morning. This is so similar to what each of us has experienced with our mothers. What follows is that once in such a grumpy mood, Flower rudely tells her mother to go away and not wake her up. Mrs. Sun felt very bad due to Flowers’s behavior. She stopped going around Flower for days at a stretch. Flower started missing her mother, her caring ways, and eventually, realized her mistake. This is so relatable. We tend to take our parents for granted and often react rudely to their caring ways. Mrs. Sun then explained another important lesson to flower. Remember the childhood rhyme,
“Early to bed, early to rise
Makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Flower apologizes to her mother and asks why did she leave her alone to which Mrs. Sun replies that she never left her alone but she should not have raised her voice. This is so important for kids to learn, love, and respect their elders, especially their parents and never cross the line of respect. Also no matter how old we get, no matter how we behave, our parents never ever leave our hands and continue to love and support us till their last breath. Being kind and respectful is a quality every human being should have. Gradually, Mr. Moon and Mrs. Sun taught various life lessons to Flower and told her that she would understand them fully when she grows up, experiencing them.
The flower used to get very excited about this thought and wanted to be independent, on her own, soon. That day came and Flower left for her journey, she tried to make new friends and fit in. But due to some of the other reasons, she was never happily accepted. As the days passed, no matter where she went, Flower could not find a place where she could fit in.
This reminds us that how badly, desperately we try to fit in, be part of the crowd, be one of them, and forget our real selves in the process. We all are unique and are all children of one God. We are different but the same at the core.
The beautiful illustrations are enchanting and the story very emotional and full of life lessons. The author, Imani Cortez lives in Namibia and supports various charitable causes. The book, although a fantasy fiction one, is a quick read but delivers very crucial and important life lessons along with beautiful illustrations. Everyone, especially every child needs to read this.