• Interview with Dawn Casey, author of Spin a Scarf of Sunshine

    by  • 21 July 2020 • Author Interview • 0 Comments

    We spoke to author Dawn Casey about the importance of stories, her love of wool and her new picture book, Spin a Scarf of Sunshine. Beautifully illustrated by Stila Lim, this story delights in the turning of the seasons and the cycles of nature.

    What inspired you to write Spin a Scarf of Sunshine?

    My love of knitting and my love of nature.

    Spin a Scarf of Sunshine is illustrated by Korean illustrator Stila Lim. What did you think when you saw your story come to life?

    I love the warmth and gentle luminosity of Stila’s illustrations, as well as the sense of uncluttered clarity. I love the details like the robin and the tabby cat and the little sister! All adorable!

    What is the key message you would like to share with this book?

    To me, part of the magic of stories is that they are open, offering many meanings. A single story can offer different wisdom or healing at different points in our lives, depending on what is current for us at that moment. We each receive just what we need from a story.

    Spin a Scarf of Sunshine is a song of praise to the beautiful connectedness of all life. It is also a celebration of the pleasure of knitting!

    Why do you think stories are so important for children?

    Stories are to the soul as food is to the body. Just as we nourish our children’s bodies with wholesome food to help them grow healthy and well, so we can give them wholesome stories, to nourish their spirits and nurture their inner growth.

    Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri said: “Change the stories individuals or nations live by and tell themselves, and you change the individuals and nations.”

    Why do you think it’s important to teach children about cycles in nature?

    We live at a point in history when for decades consumer culture has promoted a way of life that is disconnected from nature. It has been considered normal to buy ‘stuff’ without awareness of how things are made, or where they end up once they have been used.

    I believe it is important for all of us, children and adults alike, to understand the connections between our daily lives and the web of life; how the objects in our hands relate to the earth beneath our feet. With this awareness, we can make conscious choices, which serve all life.

    Spin a Scarf of Sunshine offers a picture of wholeness, which, I hope, is both affirming and inspiring.

    You’ve mentioned that you like to knit, like Nari. What have you made with wool?

    Yes, I love knitting! I love the softness of the wool and the smoothness of the wood in my hands. I find the rhythm of knitting soothing, meditative almost. I use pure wool, my favourite yarn is organic and chunky. I enjoy playing with natural dyes, the colours have far more depth and richness than chemical dyes. Over the years, I have knitted cardigans and shawls, scarves and hats, cuddly cats and snuggly bunnies, for my children and for my nieces, and for many beloved dolls and soft toys!

    My children and I have also enjoyed making many lovely things from felted wool, as gifts and for our nature table; book-marks and notebook-covers, balls for babies and glasses cases for grandmas, Easter eggs and spring chicks, summer birds and autumn acorns, birthday crowns and Christmas stars.

    When my children were little, before they knew how to knit, they created yards and yards of finger-knitting and fork-knitting. I warmly recommend finger-knitting as a lovely way for very young children to enjoy wool.

    Wool is one of my favourite things!

    If you enjoy knitting like Dawn, why not head over to our blog post where Dawn shares instructions for knitting your very own little lamb!

    Want to learn more about Nari? Listen to Dawn read from Spin a Scarf of Sunshine on the Floris YouTube channel:


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