By: Harley Sears
Publication Date: May 20, 2023
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: September 14, 2023
Writer and counselor Harley Sears offers a wide-ranging teaching method for children that has its roots in the basic enjoyment of listening to and pondering enthralling tales in his debut book, The Magic In Metaphor: Empowering Children Through Healing Stories.
In twenty-five chapters, each of which is designed for listening and learning, the author sets forth stories, generally focused on the natural world, that allow the reader/listener to perceive meaning by imagining her/himself in the situation of a caterpillar, a butterfly, or, as in the opening segment, a home-loving puppy named Archie. Archie's story takes a turn when he is suddenly consigned to a doggy daycare. At first, Archie is understandably nervous, but as he meets other daycare dogs, he soon makes friends and feels a sense of comfort. By the end of the day, he is looking forward to his next visit to the facility. Teachers will see how well this metaphorical situation applies to a child facing care away from home or on the first day at school.
As with all the stories, Archie's tale is followed by Lessons Revealed, Suggested Activities, and more, guiding both student and instructor to make the story’s meaning clear by allowing free discussion, artwork, and various exercises. Other deftly spun yarns include a bee’s encounter with a Friendship Garden, giving him insight into how flowers – as friendships – are nurtured “through acts of kindness, understanding, and compassion.” Children will be encouraged to create artwork depicting their idea of the lovely garden. In “The River of Truth,” a lion cub is shown how the flow and purity of a river can be polluted and darkened by dishonesty, stressing the need to remain truthful and keep the river’s waters “clear and bright.” Students are asked to invent honesty pledges, poems, and songs. “The Garden of Memories” concerns the passing of an aging cat who is comforted by being shown that he will be remembered. This introduces concepts of mindfulness and meditation and encourages discussion focused on grief and loss.
Sears is a hypnotherapist who has worked extensively, aiding and mentoring children in hospitals and other treatment centers. His award-winning work shows a genuine concern for young people, and a talent for artful, indeed magical, composition. It provides a highly varied and imminently practical tool for teachers who will use the metaphorical examples found in the stories to generate true absorption among children needing its many valuable lessons.
Quill says: The Magic in Metaphor reveals author Harley Sears as a mentor and educator with a wish to assist youngsters in confronting emotionally charged life situations with a positive outlook and thorough understanding.
For more information on The Magic In Metaphor: Empowering Children Through Healing Stories, please visit the author's website at: harleysears.com/