Little Boy Gan, by: Lisa McDonald – Book Review
“The Beginning” is how Lisa McDonald ends her book, a technique that completely captured my thoughts by surprise and echoed the lessons of her story in my mind. Little Boy Gan by Passion-Filled Everland is a creative collaboration of indelible imagery with a timeless story resulting in a delightful literary asset for any collection or personal library.
Perfect for reading at bedtime to a child, or for anyone to take a few moments throughout their day, McDonald’s harnesses the ageless power of gratitude to amplify awareness of the moment and to accentuating the smallest things in life that she emphasizes having the most fun.
In Everland’s Enchanted Forest is a cast including a talking willow, a caterpillar, a deer, a frog, a goose, a turtle, and a squirrel all asking Gan the same question, “What makes you shine with happiness?” Drawn to Gan’s glory of being, the characters each learn a lesson stemming from Gan’s peace, love, and gratitude. Gan’s bouncing in his walk contributes to his happy thoughts; his kind words stem from being comfortable in his own skin; his humble tranquility allows him to listen to the universe. These are all very important Zen techniques for self-realization and reading this book allows children to develop these skills by observing the lessons Gan tells his whimsical friends.
One can’t help but slow down and think how peaceful Everland is, as the footage creates an angelic vision of the characters’ interaction. The illustrative viewpoints float whimsically in perspective and zoom in close using very creative art. Gan is humble and clear in his answers to questions about why he is so satisfied. These answers are found in everyone; just that in Gan’s case, he understands the “why” at such a young age, which shows other young people that wisdom at any age is achievable if given time for quiet meditation. One learns to appreciate the blessings created by “Here and Now”.
This book is part of a series of other children’s books written by Lisa McDonald. In Little Boy Gan, she created a piece that stands on its own merits for completeness, but fits into her messages of other works like a puzzle for young minds to make sense of life’s lessons. It is a spiritual book although not mentioning God, a philosophical book without quoting the Eastern prophets, and a classic of imagery in soft but detailed illustrations.
In the competitive children’s book market, Lisa McDonald has established herself as a visionary author capable of linking illustrations to concise yet powerful messages, poetically using phrases and dialogue to convey confidence-building lessons and wisdom in young children.