I read this book many times over and every time I read it, it makes me cry.
The book tells a story of two horses that dreamed of having a baby colt. A year later, they were blessed with a baby boy. They were so blinded by love that they did not realised that their baby were not a colt. After seeing the doctor, they learned that their baby was a ladybug.
They named him Polkadot and celebrated his qualities, his exquisite wings and bright colours and most of all his lovable personality.
At first they did not know how to care for Polkadot but after seeking advice from the doctor, they learned that he flies, eat other bugs and that he will stay tiny and delicate.
The most devastating news was that he has a short life span.They cried their heart out day and night because their little Polkadot would never live as long as they would.
Polkadot was confused but told his parent that he loves everything about himself and that being a ladybug is all that he knew how to be.
The horses realised that their son was right and from that moment their sad tears turned to happy tears. They were blessed with the most special ladybug that had ever lived. They cherished every moment of Polkadot’s sweet life.
And they even caught a glimpse of what it is like to fly.
The story was written by Carole McMenamy Amber who found out that her son, TJ, would not see his second birthday. In the Author’s Note, Carole told that the story came to her in a flash during her darkest moments after finding out about her son who was diagnosed with Leigh Syndrome. She wrote it and read it countless times to TJ during Christmas. TJ peacefully passed away in April 2009 at fourteen months due to complications from the syndrome.
This beautiful book was illustrated by my talented friend, Evi Shelvia. Evi captured Carole’s word beautifully and I think it was a fate that they met each other online and created this book.
When I met Evi back in 2012, she showed me The Gift Of The Ladybug and told me that it was her first job illustrating a picture book. She studied Industrial Design, but pursues illustrations because it is her passion. I thought, wow, her work was amazing! We became friend ever since and went together to Bologna last year (2014), where we met Carole for the first time. The meeting was a very emotional one; Evi and Carole hugged for the first time, and knowing the story beforehand, I was all teary-eyed. I got the privilege to also meet Carole’s husband, Troy, and both her parents.
Knowing both the person who wrote and illustrated the book, makes this book very close to my heart.
I totally recommend you to buy this book.
The Gift Of The Ladybug
by Carole McMenamy Amber (Author), Evi Shelvia (Illustrator)
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Ladybug Publishing (January 16, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
Credit photos: Evi Shelvia