by John Heffernan and illustrated by Peter Sheehan
(Omnibus Scholastic Australia Malvern South Australia 2005)
peace with ourselves-peace with each other-peace with the environment
recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library
A small child, unable to see, was befriended by a sea creature, those with sight only feared. They enviously watched from the shore as the child fearlessly laughed and played with his new friend. This unusual story cleverly explored the meaning of happiness and how to create it. It is an engaging and thought-provoking story for all ages to enjoy and share together and it contains many peace-building elements:
The people of the island captured the creature hoping it would magically create happiness for them as it did for the child. But the special magic could not be sustained and neither could the creature. It needed to be set free and return to the ocean otherwise it would not survive.
This story leaves any reader questioning their own understandings about happiness. The ending is definitely a happy one for the child and his friend. But the people of the island only occasionally heard laughter and imagined the child and his friend might be near as they waited in hope upon the shore for their return.
Critical questions to explore with children
Creative questions to explore with children
© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation January 2007