Jane Curry Publishing
Yoshi has been sending rainbows for as long as he can remember. Each night he sends a rainbow to his beloved great grandmother Nin Nin, who died last year. As he lies in his bed he imagines being surrounded by a bright rainbow, breathing in all its colours and feeling them gathering in his heart. He blesses them with love and sends the other end of the rainbow to Nin Nin, taking her peace and happiness. He knows that life is a bit like a balloon – a beautiful, vibrant thing when filled with air, but just a piece of rubber when it is emptied. It is the air that makes it special, just as it is the spirit that makes the person special and Nin Nin’s spirit is now in all the beautiful things he can see.
But who else sends rainbows? And who first thought of the idea? Together with his friend Bernadette who told him of the idea, he asks all his friends – Matteo and Joss, Linh and Thanh, Mustafa, and Mariah, all of whom have also been sending rainbows as long as they can remember. No matter who you are, or why you want to send a message, you can send someone a rainbow and feel better for having done so.
This is a most remarkable story and one our children have needed for a very long time.
I am very familiar with the work of Petrea King – for many many months after surviving an horrific car accident, I went to bed at night plugged into my Walkman letting the imagery and sounds of her Dolphin Dreaming bring me the peace and relaxation needed to sleep. Not long after, the events of September 11 brought the world crashing into our lounge rooms and into the lives of our children. Since then there have been the Bali bombings, Hurricane Katrina, the China earthquake and so many more, all with their graphic images of children suffering and affecting our children in ways that we could not prepare them for. Psychologists say that when children are confronted with these sorts of events, they have a great sense of empathy but also helplessness, and things that many adults pass off as just stories on the news, remain to trouble the minds of our little ones.
But now we, as grandparents, parents and teachers, can offer them a strategy to help them manage whatever comes their way, whether on a world-scale or within their family. Ever since the days of Noah, the rainbow has been a symbol of love and peace and the concept of sending a rainbow to give these to the holders of both ends is so simple, but so powerful.
Although the story itself is just a simple quest, it is the message that it carries that is its real strength and at the end of the book, the author has suggestions for how parents and teachers can use the ‘rainbow ritual’ to connect children to those separated from them by distance, divorce or death. The story is but the springboard to an opportunity to open up conversations that need to be had, but are so difficult to start. It is a must on the shelves of both the home and school library, and together with the CD Rainbow Connection an essential in your Teachers Toolbox and parent collection.
Who will you send a rainbow to, today? (To help you, read the Rainbow Ritual )