So proud to celebrate the publication of my friend’s new book, “The Little Island”, written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Robert Starling. The launch event, in Kew Bookshop was packed as she did a reading of the story with her friend Helen Baxendale (Rachel in Cold Feet and Emily in Friends).
It’s a modern-day fable of freedom, feathers and friendship, but it is also an allegorical story offering a hidden message on what Brexit could mean. Written for young children it is simply the tale of a farm where all the animals were friends until the geese decided to leave the farm that “wasn’t perfect and they didn’t always agree…But they liked it.” But in so telling that story, it offers a stark reminder of what might happen when isolation occurs and it allows a door to be opened onto a further discussion about inclusion and freedom. It’s all about building bridges, literally and metaphorically.
Despite it being for young children, I asked Smriti to dedicate it to my grown-up daughter, but in fact I now wish I’d asked her to dedicate it to my mother – it might just change her mind about how to live happily and inclusively in our green and pleasant land.
There is a quote at the front of the book which I love, taken from the John Donne poem “No Man Is an Island”;-
“No goose is an island entire of itself; every goose is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”
John Duck (1624)
In other words, “Better Together”:-