I was first introduced to the work of Charlie Mackesy on Instagram. Randomly, selections of his artwork would pop up in my feed with heart-warming and encouraging statements. Every time I viewed one of his pieces, I felt as if I had just received a soul filling hug of warmth. You know, the kind of hug that fills you from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes.
Rough sketches tell a simple story of love and friendship as the boy and the mole journey into the wild forest together. Along the way they meet the mostly silent fox and giant gentle horse. No one character is perfect. Each is carrying their own pain, but as they look out for one another, they realize how they are lifted by the kindness and compassion of one another.
Charles describes his book best, “This book is for everyone, whether you are eighty or eight.” I completely agree! Everyone in our home has read “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” and found value in it. Here is how we have used it.
For older kids, simply hand it to them, and ask them to find a quiet place to enjoy a few minutes of reading at a time. Even the most reluctant readers can breeze through these pages.
Read the story together with younger kids and invite them to embellish the story and create their own stories of kindness and compassion. What encouraging words can they come up with?
One of my favorite uses has been to copy the pages of this book and hang them in our kitchen where they will be seen throughout the week. I’m sure this violates some copyright law, but it is for personal use and I did purchase a copy so I’m giving myself a pass! As I’m typing I’m thinking how great it would be to have everyone create their own drawing with words of hope and encouragement. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am on it! Will you join me? Grab yourself a copy of “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” today. You will be so glad you did.