Today I will be talking about a really cool book. As you might already know the purpose of this website is all about encouraging other to make positive change in their personal life, their community and globally and this book fits perfectly in those goals.
The Lighthouse is a book written by Amanda Bernardo and Illustrated by Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor. It’s their second book that they have published together the first one being called Little voice. Following in the footsteps of their first book this book is all about sharing a positive message and also helping to raise funds for a great cause. Their theme this time around is mental health and parts of the proceeds for every book goes to the National Canadian Mental Health Association.
Alright now that you know a bit more about it I will go into my review! A small disclaimer to start, I was given the ebook version to review but my review is a completely honest representation of my personal thoughts on the book.
When I first heard about The project Samantha Clusiau and Amanda Bernardo were working on I was super happy to see their theme was mental health. It’s something I am passionate about having struggled with mental health for pretty much my whole life. I love when people create awareness about mental health and help reduce the stigma. However, I won’t lie, part of me was questioning how they would pull off a book for children that covered such a tricky subject. Having worked with children for over 7 years now I know how hard subjects like that can be to address. You want to give enough information to make the child you are talking to know that there is nothing wrong with struggling with mental health but at the same time the line between being supportive to a child in your care at a daycare or what not and the line of saying too much is a very fine line. A book is a bit different because a parent can read it too and make the judgment based on their child but still there is a fine line to walk on.
Saying all that I am happy to say that I think the little voice team did a great job! Amanda’s writing really showed how it was OK to feel bad sometimes and struggle with mental health but also showed how you shouldn’t loose hope because there was always light to be found in those dark places. In other words if you looked closely enough you could find that light to help guide you through though times. Saying that can you guess where the lighthouse fits in? Hint hint. I won’t say more because I really think you need to read the book to get the full impact of the title but I couldn’t resist throwing a little teaser in here.
Getting back to the writing I also really liked how there was a call to action in there for people to speak out about their experiences with mental health and be the change they want to see. Overall the writing for me stood out because of it’s message and how it seemed to be very inclusive to anyone struggling with mental health. They didn’t go into details about specific illness but took a global approach that I think many people will be able to relate to.
Next stop the pictures. The illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor is pretty amazing. The pictures complemented the words perfectly and really made everything come together. I think sometimes as a reader we take images for granted and focus on the words but I immediately was drawn to the pictures in this book. They depict the emotions and messages that Amanda puts in her writing perfectly. You could practically feel the pain some of the characters were feeling for yourself and the hope that some of the other image depicted. I think one of the main reasons for that is that the images are easy to relate to, at least they were for me. The fact that there was a lot of diversity in the book also makes me really happy! I think it will add to again having a wider audience be able to connect to the message. Mental health does not segregate so it is more than appropriate and might I say about time that I find a book that’s aimed at reducing the stigma on mental health and inspiring/helping people who are struggling with it that has obviously done a lot of effort to be inclusive.
So to sum this all up I really enjoyed the book. I think that the message it’s trying to share and the way Amanda Bernardo and Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor went about it really turned out well. Not only that but the fact that parts of the proceeds go towards a mental health initiative is an awesome bonus.
I would also like to add that I think that this book can great for more than just children. It’s a great reminder for people at any age who are struggling with mental health that they are not alone and that they can be change makers to help make some much needed change when it comes to mental health, the stigma associated with it etc…
If you want to go check out “The Lighthouse” or “Little Voice” you can find all the information on their website here.
That’s it for today! Until next time be part of a Powered crowd for positive change and help those around you, also don’t forget to take care of yourself! Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Get help if you need it and help those around you who are struggling.