Mama Gaia is a sensitive, instructive early reader that covers spiritual concepts, among which love takes the prime position.
Sahara Mirpuri’s lovely early reader Mama Gaia imparts profound spiritual principles in a gentle manner.
Mama Gaia, a great goddess, is joyful as she awakens to the beautiful, sparking universe around her. Filled with love, she gives birth to little souls who delight in playing hide-and-seek among the stars. The little ones learn that in order to radiate light to the degree that their mother does, they will have to discover their true natures.
The story follows the children’s adventures: they go to school on beautiful Earth, where their curriculum involves values including compassion, nonjudgment, and gratitude. Yet the book’s approach to spiritual tools is dogma-free: Mama Gaia is depicted as a loving teacher, and the conversations between her and her curious, enthusiastic children are kind and respectful.
Sharing adages such as that whatever a person focuses on will expand; that whatever one sows, they will reap; that needed lessons will keep appearing in people’s lives until they mastered; and that even mistakes are opportunities to learn, this is a book in which the message of continual love is a constant. This is also true of the sense that people belong to a vast, alive, and responsive universe.
The children are also taught how to handle difficult and negative emotions, which also have the capacity to guide and teach people. Thus, they learn accessible ways to overcome sadness, including through laughter, song, and even sitting with one’s sadness. While some of the children’s questions raise difficult emotions—death and eternal life are addressed—all are answered in an informative, comforting, and consistent way.
Within the vibrant illustrations, images of the cosmos, Earth, and Earth’s inhabitants evoke strong emotions. And, to support the book’s message of diversity, each of Mama Gaia’s children is unique; they are made to represent a variety of cultures of Earth. Their names evoke cultural icons, too, including Einstein, Lennon, and Bowie, while subtle hints in the text and images link them to those whose names they bear.
But the book’s advanced vocabulary stands to challenge its audience, while its awkward and incomplete sentences prove to be a stumbling block. Further, its large blocks of text are often followed by text-free illustrations, compromising its balance; in one instance, the text is placed too close to its illustration.
Mama Gaia is a sensitive, instructive early reader about spiritual concepts, among which love takes the prime position.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.