I’m very happy to tell you that I am now an officially published children’s book author —in Italian no less! It was about two years ago I entered a competition to come up with a story based on four illustrations by Rossella Tauro which you can see in the book images below. I was ecstatic to learn I was chosen as the winner.
My impression was that the girl in the illustrations was longing for some kind of lost connection. In the charitable projects which I lead with Peace Gospel and She Has Hope in Asia and Africa, I have worked extensively with orphans who have suffered great loss in the death of their parents.
This coupled with memories of one of my favorite French films (Ponette) about a young girl struggling with the death of her mother all converged to inspire this story I imagined about a girl finding reconnection with her deceased father via her dream life.
In my story, the dreams of my fictitious character Susie Blu take her on a deepsea adventure that mysteriously collides with reality.
I wanted to write a story to inspire children experiencing traumatic loss with the hope of the everlasting and mystical connection between parent and child.
I’m including the original English of the story here. The Italian translation was graciously provided by Sofia Conti.
I am trying to work with the publisher to get an English version released on Amazon. I will keep you posted!
Susie Blu and a Love Rediscovered
Little Susie Blu’s father was the captain of a ship that had crashed in a very bad storm last year. He had never returned. He was lost at sea and Susie Blu was very sad.
So she made a wish with all her heart that she could be with her father again. And she dreamed a dream of the sea where her father’s ship had crashed and saw the beauty of the ocean and whales of all kinds gathered under the water.
She awakened from her dream to find herself there in that same sea, and somehow she could breathe naturally! And an old whale named Mr. Humpback began talking to her in a human voice!
He said to Susie Blu, “Yes dear, I saw your father fighting to save his ship and his crew. He stayed on his ship until the end. He was very brave.”
Susie Blu replied, “But Mr. Humpback, do you know what happened to him? Did he survive?”
To which Mr. Humpback answered, “Yes, my dear, he did survive, but not as you might expect. Mother Nature honored his bravery by letting him live on with a new body, the body of a whale.”
Little Susie Blu asked, “Oh thank you for letting me know about my father! Do you know where he is?”
Mr. Humpback replied, “I’m not sure, but you can ask Mr. Bignose, he has the nose that always knows.”
So Susie Blu swam over to Mr. Bignose and said, “Hello, Mr. Humpback told me that you might be able to help me. I’m looking for my human father who has become a whale. Do you know where he is?”
Mr. Bignose replied, “Hello there Susie Blu. It’s so nice to meet you. Yes, your father has told me so many good things about you and we wondered if you might ever come looking for us. He is usually fishing over on the second cove of the bay. You might find him there.”
“Oh, thank you so much Mr. Bignose, it’s nice to meet you too! I’ll head that way now. Good day to you!” Susie Blu replied.
And sure enough, there in the second cove of the bay where her father’s ship had crashed, was a beautiful whale smiling and happy.
“Father, is it you?” Susie Blu asked eagerly.
“My precious Susie! Yes, it is me, your father!” He answered her with love in the song of his voice.
“Climb on my back, we have adventures to follow, and many miracles of the sea I would like to show you! There is so much down here, you will never believe all the treasures of nature the sea contains.”
And so little Susie climbed on his back and they swam off into the deep blue sea.
Susie was so proud of her father for his bravery, and her heart was nearly bursting with joy that he had lived on in the form of this beautiful whale.
Suddenly, Susie awakened back in her bed to her mother’s voice, “Susie, wake up, you’ll be late for school!” And Susie Blu thought that what she had seen, felt, and heard, was just a dream.
But that bracelet adorned with a small shell, how did it end up on her wrist?
Was it really just a dream?