Thursday, 2 July 2020

Samantha Porciello

Samantha Porciello is Artistic Director of Place to Wonder Children’s Theatre Company, who use storytelling to translate mindfulness tools in a child centred language. Samantha recently wrote Dream a Little Dream Children’s Relaxation Book that assists in lowering anxiety, with activities to create coping strategies and promote emotional wellbeing for children aged 5 - 10.

Book people should know more about.

Last year I came across The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. It follows the journey of a superficial china rabbit who loses his owner. On his journey into the wild world he learns how to truly love. Last year I read it to my 7 year old son, the more I read the more it touched my heart. It was poetic, simple and beautiful. It captured the universal knowing, that in order to love you have to be prepared to lose. By the end of the book I was sobbing, no book has ever moved me like that. A good lesson in empathy and love for children and grownups.  “Edward knew what it was like to say over and over again the names of those you had left behind. He knew what it was like to miss someone. And so he listened. And in his listening, his heart opened wide and then wider still.”
A book you loved reading at a child.

When I was 8 my mom brought me to a beautiful small book shop in a small town and she bought me Matilda. This was my first experience of Roald Dahl's work and I was so delighted with his silly and innovative use of words. The grownups in the story were so flawed and cruel, and I was fascinated that a little girl the same age as me could face such adversity with courage, tenacity and wit. It validated to me that things weren’t always fair and children weren’t always protected but it demonstrated resilience to me in such a wonderful way!

What book(s) are you reading right now?

At the moment I’m reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It follows the writers journey of burning through her conditioning from society to connect to her true self. It feels very apt for this current crisis we find ourselves in. We are asked to collectively sit and be still. In doing nothing we are doing everything. Glennon says "if I am willing to sit in the stillness with myself, I always know what to do. The answers are never out there. They are as steady as my breath and as close as my heart beat”.
In the silence we can finally hear ourselves clearly.

The first and last books on your bookcase/shelf.

The first book is The Helping Hands Handbook For Kids; I asked my mom to buy this this book for me when I was 9, after my mom took me to a protest for the environment. It was really formative experience for me and really activated this urge to reach out and help and make change. The last is Romancing the Ordinary, A Year of Simple Splendour by Sarah Ban Breathnach, about her recovery from an accident and through this experience she began to see the extraordinary in the ordinary in the every day simple things. Smells, texture and taste.

A book you have read more than once.

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I’ve read this book across all the decade of my life, from 16 to 35. It's a coming of age novel that follows the journey of two best friends summer adventures over the course of 20 years. It captures the beauty and complexity of female friendships, it translates how formative and magical they are and also how achingly painful it is to let a friendship go as you both change and evolve in different directions. Every decade I read, I it understand it more clearly.

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