Culture Editor Janie Smith reviews The Boy Behind The Mask, a fun story book for children and parents which helps the child striving to find inner strength to talk to their parents and understand that their parents want to know how they feel, yet, it is also essential reading for all Mums, Dads, Carers, Guardians and Teachers.
During Kalpana Mehta’s work with the Samaritans, schools, parents and children, it became obvious that parents sometimes forget what it is like to be young and children don’t always know how to express themselves or share their concerns with their parents. So she wrote a book!
“Uplifting and inspiring – a lesson for children and parents alike.”
– The Samaritans
In The Boy Behind The Mask we follow the fictional lives of twins Kiran and Kiara. Kiara is a superstar who is sweet, obedient and clever. Kiran is not. Kiran has different ideas to his parents but he doesn’t know how to tell them. He doesn’t want to disappoint them. As far as he is concerned their twin names of Kiran and Kiara should have been Clever and Clueless.
At home he feels like the invisible child compared to his consistently high achieving sister. At school he feels way out of his depth. Kiran knows exactly what he wants and knowing his parents will strongly disapprove, he sets about finding a way to achieve his dreams.
Written in a straightforward yet uplifting style with fun illustrations by Hannah Cawardine, it offers a tale that many of us as adults will understand and wish we had been able to read ourselves. It is enchanting yet powerful and full of courage. It is perfectly accessible to the child striving to find inner strength to talk to their parents and understand that their parents want to know how they feel, yet, it is also essential reading for all Mums, Dads, Carers, Guardians and Teachers. As adults it puts us back in touch with our child selves and for youngsters it brings hope and strength in the knowledge that they are loved.
I can not recommend this story highly enough, not only for home reading but for school bookshelves too. Every so often a book comes along that makes me want to shout from the rafters about it. If you spot me up on the roof, it’s because this book has it all and deserves its space on your bookshelf!
Kalpana will be donating her share of sales profit to the Samaritans charity to help fund their essential work.
Editor: Janie Smith | Arts & Culture Editor