Words are powerful.
Whether displayed on a billboard, expressed through feelings, or read in a book, they are everywhere. Depending on how they are presented, they can be perceived in various ways.
Naturally, I think of picture books and the effect they have on children, even adults.
Recently, my daughter and I were browsing the local bookstore when she bounded over giddy about a book she discovered.
I glanced at the cover. A young girl was staring at a man wrapped in a blanket crouched down on the sidewalk. At first, I was surprised she picked this. Generally, she’s attracted to bright colors and big illustrations. This story was more muted.
“Will you read this to me, Mommy?” she asked.
We found a bench and admired the modestly sized book.
“OLD MAN by Sarah V. and Claude Dubois.” I began.
The story starts by comparing the life of a young girl and a homeless man. With its sparse text and beautiful illustrations, my daughter and I were captivated.
“Mom? Why is he living on the street?”
“Where is the old man’s family?”
“Why can’t he remember his name?”
Questions poured out of my daughter’s mouth.
Sarah V’s. carefully chosen words kept us reading not two, but three times. We talked about homelessness, empathy, acts of kindness, and showing compassion for others.
When it was time to leave, the book’s message stayed with us. As a family, we talked about it during dinner and brainstormed ways we can help others.
This was another gentle reminder, that words, whether spoken or read in a children’s book, are powerful and have a lasting ripple effect on our lives.
If you haven’t read THE OLD MAN by Sarah V. and Claude K. Dubois, check it out. I highly recommend it!