What does a spider, toad, snake, crocodile and a giraffe all have in common? They each share a unique educational message for the children of today to help grow into caring adults of tomorrow!
Local children’s author Mieke Blommestein, has written four children’s books since 2010; Tale of Miss Spider, Charlie the Toad, Speedy the Snake, Benjamin the Crocodile and a brand new friend has been added to the mix this year, Long Neck! The Story of Patrick the Giraffe.
Since the ‘80s, Blommestein began writing ideas, journals and excerpts from life. These stories and ideas sat in a binder for many years. It wasn’t until 2010, during a deep meditative state, Blommestein had a vision of a Tibetan Monk that the stories began to come to life.
“In my vision, I saw a Monk. The monk called himself ‘Emanuel’ and he told me hewas a story teller- he said just listen and I will write you a story, and that was when he told me the first story of Miss Spider Who Spun Her Web.”
Miss Spider is a story about a spider who hears two voices in her head; one is very loud and angry and the other is very kind and soft. It takes a beautiful butterfly who helps guide her to learn the meaning of life and that you can choose between the two voices.
Blommestein stated that she had a vision of Emanuel again who then suggested that these positive messages needed to be sent out into the world. After his words of wisdom, she began looking into producing these stories herself. She began reading books on self-publishing and had her Sister-in-Law, Diane Peruzzi to illustrate the stories.
Next came Charlie the Toad, a story about a toad that feels sad, miserable and ugly, yet has no idea why. A wise grasshopper named Gwendolyn, enlightens Charlie about his inner beauty, ultimately teaching him happiness.
The third story given by the Monk was, Speedy the Snake who struggles with fear of change. He is faced with the challenging task of crossing the desert every day, but is fearful to be eaten by other animals. A wise and friendly caterpillar teaches him not to be afraid, as life can change into something beautiful; much like a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Benjamin the Crocodile came two-years later, a story of a young croc who struggles with body image issues, until Cecelia the mouse shows him just how beautiful he truly is.
Just this year, a brand new story has come to fruition. Long Neck! The story of Patrick the Giraffe, is about a young giraffe who is very proud of his neck until he goes to school and is teased and bullied, forcing him to face his fears and learn to express himself and his needs.
Blommestein added that Emanuel is as real as I was sitting across the table that our lattes sat on.
“When he comes, I can hear water ripples, like when you have a pond and a little waterfall coming in. He is as real as you sitting there…” Blommestein added warmly.
The inspiration behind these books may come from the spiritual world, however, the concept of each story is a message that not only children need to learn; they are good reminders for adults as well. These stories are written purely out of love and passion. Blommestein invested four thousand dollars in 2010, and she sells them at a few local shops as well as the farmers market during the summer months. Once she hits four thousand dollars in profit, she puts that money directly into the next story to be published.
Blommestein invited the grade 7 class of Begbie Elementary School to write the last two sentences of her latest book, a concept she is quite proud of.
“I asked them to help me with the two last sentences, I knew what kind of ending I would like to have, but I wanted too seen what kind of ending the kids would give to me. I wrote the story, left the ending unfinished and they wrote it for me!”
Patrick the Long Neck Giraffe is the brand new addition to the charming series. The children’s books are available at Grizzly Book & Serendipity Shop, Coast Hillcrest Hotel, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Beyond Gifts and The Revelstoke Museum and Archives.