4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Years ago, I took my young nieces to visit a butterfly conservatory – a lepidopterarium – to be more precise. I recall their intense focus on each exhibit, from caterpillar to butterfly. One of my nieces was fixed on the cocoons and the other on the butterflies. My fond memory of the girls’ enjoyment of this experience re-emerged when I laid eyes on Veronica Red’s 2018 children’s book, Cocoon: Water Child.
The book depicts a simple journey of presence, appreciation, and transformation. The story is told in first person through the eyes of a young girl who shares with the reader beautiful details of her relationship with each stage of a caterpillar’s transformation. She recognizes the safety and protection offered by the cocoon as she plays the guitar and sings to it, encouraging it to emerge. The lovely, age-appropriate illustrations reflect a middle-school-aged girl witnessing each phase of her little friend’s process, until it floats away, fully transformed.
Reading the author’s biography adds important context to the story. Veronica Red works with children to help enhance their sense of self, encouraging them to discover their unique way of exploring the natural world through their physical and spiritual senses. A student of the spiritual arts, Veronica Red explores children’s innate attraction to nature through the elemental energy of water and the characteristics of astrological water signs. There is not that much water imagery in the text, which threw me off at first. Then I realized the water reference is about the energy and sensibilities of the child. Astrologically, water sign children are known for being sensitive, caring, and affectionate. These qualities are revealed in Veronica Red’s portrayal of the protagonist’s deep presence and appreciation for the being she befriends. While interesting to me, the reader does not necessarily need to be aware of this context in order to appreciate the story or its message.
The book can easily be read by middle-school-aged children. Younger kids would enjoy having the book read to them. They may need some help with complex concepts and longer words, such as milestone and protectively. Cocoon: Water Child presents many opportunities for kids to learn about nature, compassion, patience, and presence. The twenty-two-page book’s formatting and presentation are lovely, with a few short paragraphs per page, opposite a fitting illustration. The text appears to be professionally edited.
I am pleased to award Cocoon: Water Child a rating of 4 out of 4 stars for its simplicity, sensitivity, and attunement to children’s affinity for nature. It elicited a sweet memory of a dear time with my nieces; it also encouraged me to get up and go out in nature. I don’t happen to be a water sign, but the book did its magic on me, nonetheless.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Eva Darrington's review? Post a comment saying so!