Transforming the World Through Teachable Moments

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The Three Sunflowers is now available at Reach and Teach online and in the brick and mortar shop at 178 South Blvd in San Mateo, CA 94402 (415) 586-1713 and online:

Craig Wiesner at Reach And Teach says:

“Whenever a new person comes to our shop or meets us at an event, we hand that person an origami butterfly with the phrase “If nothing ever changed, there wouldn’t be butterflies.” Change is constant yet people, more often than not, fear and try to avoid change. Without going into details, our team here at Reach And Teach is looking at some potential changes and we’re both anxious and excited about the possibilities. Fortunately, there are people in our lives who are standing tall, nurturing and guiding us, and letting us know that they are there for us through whatever changes may come.

We recently heard from Janet Lucy, the author of The Three Sunflowers, wondering if we might want to take a look at her book. With our mission of Transforming the World Through Teachable Moments, we know that every time someone opens a book, transformation may soon occur. That’s the case with this book. Beyond the absolutely beautiful softly and gently rendered watercolor illustrations and lyrical and engaging writing style, the story of the sunflowers in the garden is very compelling and grabs you from the very first page. “Dawn awoke early one morning washing the Summer sky in fresh new shades of pink, orange, and lavender.”

We then go through the entire day among the three sunflowers, learning about what is, what was, and what will be, from Gloria, Solita, and Sunny. Things change, from moment to moment, hour to hour, and day to day. Sometimes, even for just a moment, everything is perfect. How wonderful to be in the moment and enjoy that perfection. When storm clouds gather, we have to gather up our strength to weather that storm. It’s OK to be afraid, but hold on tightly and have faith that the storm will end. And… even if it doesn’t, remember that the cycle of life goes on.

This book can be a terrific launching point for discussions about so many topics including the entire circle of life, the reality of death, and even how to deal with bullying. When a Cooper’s Hawk swoops through the garden scaring the little birds away, what can the sunflowers do? Stand tall! Be a stable and calming presence in the midst of chaos. In anti-bullying lessons children are encouraged to become “upstanders” instead of “bystanders.” Imagine asking a child what he or she could do when other children are being bullied, thinking about the sunflowers and how they stood tall, and how a child can add one more element to the situation, the power of his or her voice saying “stop!”


In the midst of change, this book landed on our doorstep at just the right moment. And just moments ago someone wandered into our shop and said “I’ve been thinking about you guys and I was wondering…….” Good thing we believe that change can be a good thing, because without it there wouldn’t be any butterflies, or wonderful books!

A beautiful book that will be the start of many wonderful conversations for young and old alike.”

And speaking of “Teachable Moments”…

A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home. Pass it on or better yet, if you’re a parent or a teacher, do it with your child/children. By: Liz Hahn

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