Harriet & Corbin meet at Kitsilano Beach
by Kathryn Patterson
Amazon Digital Services LLC | 2019 | 32 pages
In the midst of our ongoing Elder efforts to promote the art of constructive conversation on emotional and divisive issues such as climate change, along comes a charming little book by Vancouver writer Kathryn Patterson on the art of conversation. This time, however, it’s a dialogue between a heron and a crow on Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach.
Harriet the heron, who likes meditation, and Corbin, a lively and rambunctious crow, strike up an unlikely friendship. Harriet, appropriately, is wise and serene (as are all herons?) and Corbin is great at conversation. Their relationship is an example of how to embrace and learn from others who may be different from ourselves. It invites children and parents to explore and experience a simple meditation through the eyes of these birds.
Just 32 pages of text interspersed with beguiling illustrations by the late Kate Belliveau, also from Vancouver, cover a plethora of items, from the value of meditation to the art of conversation between strangers, from avian biology to Lower Mainland geography and cultural history. The end result is to create a sense of calmness and a heartfelt connection with nature.
A book for children or for adults? Both, actually.
Reviewed by Stan Hirst, 2019