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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Learning doesn’t just happen at school. The potential to learn is all around us: our parents, our siblings, our friends, our experiences, our joys and sorrows. When someone we love dies, we learn to grieve and then we learn to carry the love inside ourselves and move on, to share that love with others. When nature beckons and we see a butterfly, we learn to pause and marvel in its simplistic beauty. Life’s lessons are learned through subtle encounters: a discarded snake skin can symbolically teach us to cast aside our pain; studying the multiple colors of a kaleidoscope can encourage us to appreciate the unique treasures of life around us. There is so much we can learn from just living our lives.
Pryamvada Bann’s little book of wisdom, The Silent Teachers, is a treasure. The author and artist marvels at all of life’s reverent beauty, honoring it through her paintings and her poetry. The paintings used in this book to accompany each poem are spectacular. My favorite is the hummingbird on page 14 and the two poems on either page that depict the valuable lessons one can learn from watching nature’s most precious wonders: the birds. “He begins to twist from East to West/ Singing his song of praise/ Welcoming the New Day with pure joy.” And: “He exuded such clarity and confidence from being in the moment.” We all need to live our present – not the past, not the future. Past mistakes are in the past and should be left there; future fears haven’t arrived, so don’t worry about what may or may not happen. Powerful lessons taught through the beauty of painting and poetry; this is a lovely book to treasure over and over again.