Brave Adventures, Little Girl by Iresha Herath, takes little readers on a journey around the globe while reflecting on the importance of grandparents and finding courage to embrace all that life has to offer.
Anika is a sweet little four-year-old girl, who adores her grandparents. She visits them every Sunday and takes us along to visit them. In this culturally diverse story, her Sri Lankan born grandparents are known as ‘Seeya’ and ‘Achi’, which mean grandfather and grandmother in the Sri Lankan dialect of Sinhala.
On this particular visit Seeya takes Anika on his escapades throughout different countries around the world, such as going to university in England, watching the Olympics in Italy and visiting Russia behind the Iron Curtain . The gorgeous images of the numerous countries her grandfather has visited, are a visual feast and make this book geographically educational.
What is truly heart-warming about this book is Anika’s overwhelming respect and admiration for her grandparents. This multi-generational story shows us exactly how we imagine close-knit families to be, sitting around the dining table enjoying a feast together on a Sunday afternoon and then heading out to the park for a stroll.
The second core message of this story is one of courage. Anika tries to jump hopscotch at the park and ends up falling over and scratching her arm. She reports back to Seeya that she feels “funny in the tummy” when she tries new and adventurous things and is feeling nervous about her school Kinder Olympics. With gentle encouragement, Seeya explains that feeling nervous and still doing the thing that we are afraid of is what shows we are truly brave. The language and gentleness shown to Anika from her mum and grandparents will be sure to inspire and educate even the adult reader on how to talk to your little ones.
For a picture book, Brave Adventures, Little Girl is a weighty 52 pages, with two predominant messages about intergenerational relationships and being brave.
The stunning illustrations by Oscar Fa add much to the story with the use of warm vivid colours and symbols such as the sun and clouds to convey emotion. For little animal lovers there is also ‘Spud’ (or ‘Sir Spuddle Buttlington) the gorgeous rescue dog who is very much part of the family and makes an appearance on almost every page as a comfort to Anika.
Finally, there is a wonderful reference section at the back of the book for readers who want to explore further.
This touching story is a joy to read, and the perfect book for grandparents and parents alike to read to their little cherubs at a Sunday afternoon family lunch.
Her accomplished legal career spans twenty years, taking her from magic circle legal firms, to work as a Ministerial Adviser, and now as a Senior Executive and Chief Legal Officer for a 6000-staff health service. Her career has involved considerable pro bono work, including as a Director of the Law Institute of Victoria, and a One Girl Ambassador, and she is regularly invited to speak at leadership and legal forums.
Iresha’s theatre company, 9minds, has produced several acclaimed main-stage plays in Australia, starting with the youth play triumph Angels with Dirty Faces, which she co-wrote. The company has also spear-headed Arts’-based social justice advocacy with a lauded Australian get out the vote video campaign for marriage equality.
In recent years, Iresha and her family have focused on the redevelopment of her late father’s childhood home in Sri Lanka to a boutique hotel, The Notary’s House, which she hopes will attract artists from across the world. The house, her father and daughter all have starring roles in Brave Adventures, Little Girl.
Oscar Fa is a freelance French artist specialising in concept art and digital illustration. He undertakes projects such as book cover design, illustrated books, children’s picture books and concept art. He has always been curious and passionate about painting, and tries to fill his days with colour!
You can find his work online at artstation.com.