Dearest Greg,

I thought I would share my experience with Litho* and Lutando* this morning.
I teach at one of our Shine schools, and this morning, the boys came bouncing in, full of beans, ready for their session.

I always like to start my session with rhyme and rhythm, and realised that The Little Optimist was perfect for this. There is the gentle repetition of the verse and a richness of language that soothes and soars. The illustrations are relatable and recognisable, and the story is one of determination, fortitude, perseverance, survival and grit. You have really captured the qualities that so many of our children need to possess to survive their everyday world, and it was beautiful to watch them ‘fall into the book’ with me.

I am a softy for children’s books and stories, and I still cannot get to the end of The Little Optimist without choking up. (The boys looked a little bemused as I wiped my face…The sentiment of this book sits right up there with the Velveteen Rabbit, a book that investigates and explores the true meaning of positive thinking and lasting friendship.

Thank you for your beautiful contribution to the genre of South African children’s literature XX

Warmly, as always,

Kathryn T x