Evan wants to be lonely. When you have three sisters, two brothers and Mom and Dad all sharing a two room apartment, the space you call home gets filled really fast. Evan is determined to find his own space but has difficulty figuring out how to make that happen in two rooms shared by a family of 8. He wisely shares his dilemma with Mom who recommends each family member choose a corner out of the eight corners available in their apartment. Once Evan finds the corner he prefers he sets out on a field trip around his neighborhood to find what he needs for his special space. Evan discovers in the process that a little creativity, effort and determination can go a long way in achieving your goal. Furthermore, he realizes the joy of helping his brother find his own special corner too.
Evan’s Corner by Elizabeth Starr Hill with Pictures by Sandra Speidel is a special experience.
I offer this marvelous book as an opportunity to bring some light, energy and joy to families who have been forced to shelter in place now for weeks at a time with no apparent end in sight. COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Adults with children have a particular challenge with keeping chaos down and spirits high. Most children are used to spending much of their day in school or daycare. They’ve built relationships with teachers and friends that they have come to rely on daily. Routines established to order and organize their day outside the home have now disappeared. A space that is generally occupied in the evenings and on weekends has now become the be all and end all of existence for every family member. Being housebound for days on end can drive even the most patient and loving family to distraction. It is why I feel Evan’s story has such a strong application to what we are experiencing as a nation. We may find in the pages of this book an idea that may help preserve family well being and open up new ways of living at home.
The materials you need are simple and most likely already available where you live. Crayons and drawing paper allowed Evan to create his own artwork to begin putting his personal brand on his space. The live plant he brought from the playground could come from your yard. Another option would involve creating your own flowering plant using paper, crayons, popsicle sticks for stems and a paper cup as a “pot” filled with cotton balls or some other safe filler to help it stand. Boxes, crates, low bookshelves, small tables, different sized pillows or other “found’ materials around the house can create the “furniture” each person needs to make their space more comfortable. If a pet is not an option there are other items the family members can draw from their bedrooms, play areas and other spaces around the house including the garage and backyard to add interest and fun to their special corner. The sky’s the limit when you allowt creativity and imagination guide the way.
Why not embark as a family on your own mission to find spaces for each member? What an adventure it could become as you encourage them to use what they already have or can make with their own hands to create their unique personal space. Like Evan discovered, there’s a special corner for everyone if we take the time to find it!
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