An Abbotsford author has released a children’s book to inspire kids to show kindness during the pandemic.
Luella Neufeld’s book is titled Have Courage and Be Kind: Knights in Training and the Great Battle. She said it was partly inspired by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words to children early in the pandemic.
The book is medieval tale about three brothers – knights-in-training who are unlikely heroes.
They are swept up in the battle against a formidable foe: a deadly virus. Along the way the three brothers learn life lessons about courage, kindness, patience and service to others.
The characters experience events similar to those encountered by many children during the pandemic. The brothers and their four girl cousins learn more about the enemy and find ways to help the kingdom during this battle.
Neufeld, a long-time educator, said the characters were inspired by her grandchildren, and most of the events happened to her family in the pandemic. She used their real middle names as the characters’ names.
The kids created drawings after hearing the story, and Neufeld used some of them to create her illustrations. She chose collage and used a warm and calm colour scheme.
“Children love looking for images that are repeated in picture books and for small details. The illustrations show the beauty that still exists in the world even in a pandemic,” she said.
The book contains a list of ideas at the back for children to show kindness. More ideas for parents and teachers connected to the book can be found on the author’s website.
Part proceeds from the book will go to Books for Me! – a Vancouver charity that provides books and literacy support for children of families in need.
Neufeld was a classroom teacher, a teacher of the gifted, and a teacher of physical education, art, music and dance. She also worked in post-secondary education as a faculty associate and an instructor for language arts and art education.
The book is available in paperback, hardcover and eBook editions from most major retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Friesenpress bookstore. It is also available wholesale through Ingram.