FOCUS ON ... Bea Potgieter
BLUE STAR AND LIONHEART
A captivating children’s story, and a journey of hope.
Born under the African Skies, Psychologist and Author Bea Potgieter was raised in the Bushveld and notes Africa as being integral to her very being. It is with this inspiration and connectedness that “Blue Star and Lionheart” was conceptualised and born. The first of a series of books, Blue Star and Lionheart aims to talk to children on a deeper level of consciousness through a beautifully illustrated meaningful story. The book sees release in October 2012, coinciding with Animal Awareness Month.
With a large part of her childhood being spent on a nature conservancy, Bea was strongly influenced. Whilst choosing psychology as her career, wildlife conservation and writing continued to be lifetime pursuits. Connecting Ecopsychology and the aforementioned passions the children’s story was the natural outcome.
“Reflecting on my childhood today, I now know that as a little girl, nature and animals protected and preserved my essence, and kept the ember inside of me burning.” Notes Bea. “Although I was not consciously aware of the incredible wisdom that lies within the connection between me and the natural world, I somehow knew it on a deep level as I never felt alone under a tree or with an animal. It is this knowing that I wish to stir within every child and adult who reads this book”.
The book features two characters: Blue Star and Lionheart. Blue star is human, and Lionheart animal, with each possessing the qualities that are representative of living a life of harmony with one’s inner soul and the outer natural world. The two characters bridge the gap between the human and animal worlds and together combine their gifts of love and hope as they embark on a courageous journey together.
For the characters it’s a journey of loss, and one of light, demonstrating the need to return to one’s inner self in order to reclaim and re connect with a soul purpose and universal truth. A message that aptly shows no one is ever alone, and that there indeed is a common connectedness.
The book on a higher level also symbolises the greater loss experienced in all people in modern day to day living, a collective disconnection from animals and nature and the cry for a return to balance, harmony and equilibrium. A remarkable journey of love and hope, the book brings awareness to a greater need for balance and synchronization.
With Ecopsychology [the study of the psychological processes that tie us to the world or separated us from it] being a strong motivator for the story, and with the Authors inspiration stemming from her work at Timbavati with the white lions, Bea saw the need to share the message with those willing to listen. The book took 22 months to reach completion, and the end product clearly conveys the message for a better world.
Targeted at children, the book aims, through a beautiful simple story, to stir awareness that it is us as humans that need to preserve, and re connect with nature in a sustainable way. The story holds a very relevant message in the current South African landscape as we watch our wildlife be slowly depleted through poaching, illegal hunting and development. Children are the future and if we cultivate our younger generation’s love and respect for nature, we can build a society which is able to live in harmony with the-other-than-human world.
Blue Star and Lionheart is beautifully illustrated by artist Stephanie Gillett, with the pictures accentuating the very soul of the story.
This book is the first in the series, where the two characters are introduced. The journey will further unfold over the remaining series of books as Blue Star and Lioinheart travel, meeting other wonderful creatures and learning valuable lessons. Important ecopsychological themes will be highlighted throughout the series. Work on the second book is currently underway.
Blue Star and Lionheart will also see translation into Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa & Sotho to allow the story accessibility to all children.
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