Little Love Lessons by Tarsila Krüse is a wonderfully gentle book, encouraging its child and adult readers to consider the beauty in the mundane, the joy in the routine, and the happiness they may have lost sight of. Written in page-long vignettes with beautiful illustrations, the book suggests ways for children to change their perspectives, calm their worries, embrace other cultures, and share difference to promote inclusion.
The book also shares strategies to help with low mood and anxiety, such as making up dance routines, listening to music, and connecting with others. The tone of the book is never judgemental, and much of this seems to stem from the author’s experience, as she speaks honestly about her own journey of healing in a note inside the back cover. Adult readers will find themselves reconnecting with their own childlike curiosity, thinking about new ways to express themselves and using creativity to reflect and grow.
Lending itself to numerous lessons from topics as diverse as differing perspectives, finding the colours of emotions and naming them, and using imaginative play to explore feelings and thoughts, this book would make an excellent companion to later stages of the Aistear curriculum as a teachers tool, up to 4th class or perhaps beyond, depending on the group in question. I would also recommend it for students in the senior end of primary school who may be struggling with identifying and expressing emotions in a healthy way, as an independent reading task or guided meditation.
Equally, I would recommend this book both as a teacher and as a parent, as not only are there many practical strategies for the classroom, there are wonderful ideas for the home, cultivating your relationship with your child as you tend to your shared wellbeing. This book does not talk down to its reader, rather it hones in on pragmatic strategies that can be read in a few minutes, making it an excellent transition tool for the classroom, or a tool for the home when difficult moments arise. Little Love Lessons seeks to normalise instead of stigmatise, and embeds healing in curiosity and creation.
I highly recommend this book both as a parent and teacher, and give it a 10/10 rating.
Dr. Muireann O’Sullivan-Byrne, Co. Kerry.
“Little Love Lessons” by Tarsila Kruse, published by O’Brien Press, is on sale now for €12.99 (H/B).
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review