When only a story will do
In the past few days, I have been in conversation with one of those people whose blend of compassion and skill makes the NHS the wonder that it is. Kath is the Director of Children’s nursing at St Barts hospital, and acutely aware of the impact that Covid-19 is having on those of all generations. In particular, she made me aware of the impact on children from the loss of a significant adult in their lives. This little film will help you to understand a little more about it: As the numbers in this pandemic mount, so the needs increase, and capacity to meet them diminishes. Who will sit and talk to the children, and how will they go about it?
Sometimes, a story can be the greatest tool to enable the hardest conversation. Some of you may remember The Tale of the Little Owl , and the remarkable collaboration which brought it about. The story was written to help children deal with the loss of a sibling, so something new was required for the new challenge.
In consultation with Kath, I have written a new story today -all about a little tree called Marvin, who loses one of the big trees who always looks out for him. You can read a tiny excerpt below. I am appealing for help in getting this story illustrated as quickly as possible. We shall then try to make it available as an ebook as soon as we can. The ebook route avoids the complexities and timescales of print publishing. It also means we can get the story into the hands of those who need it with no worries about infection control.
Could you help me to find an illustrator? Could you offer any other skill to get this off the ground?
If so, please contact me via the comments box here, or on Twitter @richardlittleda
April put her head on one side, the way blackbirds love to do – and she could see the problem. In the night, the old oak tree had fallen – and it would not stand tall again. There would be no more snow building up on its branches, and there would be no golden leaves when Autumn came. Landing gently on Marvin’s lowest branch, which bent beneath her weight – she tried to explain.
‘I think he was tired’, she said. ‘Maybe it was time for him to lie down now, instead of standing up’. The little tree shivered at the thought. ‘Even the biggest trees fall sometimes Marvin’, she chirped gently.
UPDATE – an illustrator has now been found, and is working on the project, although help with creating the ebook would still be appreciated.