Bedtime stories are a great way for families to spend time together and it is important that a bedtime story includes characters that can be recognized and enjoyed by all the family – including the readers as well as the read-to!
Bedtime stories can also be a wonderful tool in raising discussion topics and offering other points of view on sensitive issues that families might otherwise find too difficult to discuss. It can often be easier to talk when we are more relaxed and sleepy.
Sometimes we can become entrenched and attached to our own point of view. Conflicts can develop which, sadly can escalate into families falling out or drifting out of contact with each other. This is what happened in the story, Free As A Ladybird.’
Yet, some issues have no wrong and right sides – just difficult and sensitive sides and sometimes it takes a fictional story to explore this idea and remind us that somewhere between right and wrong there’s a lot of love being lost.
Free As A Ladybird is a story about families, love and freedom. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl called Natasha whose mother and Granny argue about where and how this colourful and lively Granny should live.
The conflict in the story stems from Natasha’s mother’s strong wish to look after her own mother and keep her safe. But, Granny isn’t ready for that type of care. She is independent and sees her daughter’s caring as a way of controlling her and stopping her from having fun.
As often happens in real life the good intentions of Natasha’s mother are misguided. She has persuaded Granny to live in a sheltered environment but Granny is not happy and feels like she’s living in prison.
NOT A STEREOTYPICAL GRANNY
Granny doesn’t do all the stereotypical things that Grannies do in a lot of children’s stories – like knitting or old-time dancing. This Granny is still young enough to enjoy going out in the world and having fun.
Watching as their disagreements escalate into a huge family dispute, Natasha realizes her mother and Granny are as stubborn as each other but there is nothing she can do as Granny leaves home and this loving family falls apart.
Soon colourful letters begin arrive and with them come tales of adventure and fun as well as hope for the family.