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Former nanny and mom of three writes a life lesson for children

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Alive time: author Janine Ogle Dyer with her children, Keegan, Ezra and Thea Dyer (Photograph supplied)

Saddened by the state of the world, a little girl asks a question that leads to massive change. It’s the premise of The Light, a story Janine Ogle Dyer created as a life lesson for children everywhere.

The first-time author is hoping people join her at Rock Island Coffee tomorrow, when she will read and sign copies of the book.

“I tried to figure out what divides us all. It’s the wars and it’s religion and it’s colour. It all separates us and that's all we as humans seem to fixate on – what separates us, how we can be above someone else,” she said.

“So, I was looking for a link for my kids to grab onto and to focus on, so they can find that connection and they can always remember that when they come into situations with unsavoury people.”

The link she came up with was that “we all are alive”.

“From the leaves, to the soil to the butterflies to the bees, we are all connected and kids have a special power.

“When they're little they don't see any difference they only feel and see and seek love. And the book is about that,” Mrs Ogle Dyer said.

The Light includes Bermuda scenes painted by the author.

Creation time: Twins Pax and Nia Maughan, Brianna Gordon, Goncalo Ramos and Thea and Ezra Dyer with some of the art from Janine Ogle Dyer’s book, The Light (Photograph supplied)

The story itself focuses on the little girl who is empowered by the response to her question.

Read Mrs Ogle Dyer: “’There she sat alone on the ground with her thoughts, her mouse and the light all around. ‘What am I?’ she whispered to the light. And to her surprise, the light replied: ‘You are a piece of me and I am a part of you.’”

The little girl is initially confused, but “comes to the realisation that it's her generation that needs to lead the way”.

Summer camp time: Brianna Gordon with a copy of Janine Ogle Dyer’s book, The Light (Photograph supplied)

The Light was born out of her love for children, said Mrs Ogle Dyer, a former nanny with three children of her own who recently launched Guardians Children's Summer Camp at Admiralty House Park in Pembroke.

“I’ve always had kids around me and in raising the last couple of kids alongside my own, I realised that I wanted to give them the best possible future.

“I want to be raising really good people. So I started to come up with these stories to help guide them.”

Artwork from Janine Ogle Dyer’s book, The Light (Photograph supplied)

A good friend, Elliot Bayev, insisted that she share the stories with the wider world.

“He said, ‘You can't just raise your own kids in this way. Other kids need to know the stories and learn the lessons so they can have a better chance of creating a better life too.’”

For ages Mrs Ogle Dyer ignored him and then it hit her that it was her own “fear of rising” that was holding her back.

“I had to push past my own insecurities for the greater good. Being a mother, we have to do everything – even the most uncomfortable things – to create a better way forward. I want my children, and all children, to be prepared for the future they will inherit.

“I think it was Albert Einstein who said that if you can't explain something to a child then you don't know what you're talking about.

“So I kept the words really simple and the message really clear, but it's really poetic with lots of bright colours.”

Her children think what she’s done is “amazing”.

“They are very, very excited about it,” she said.

Mrs Ogle Dyer set Bermuda as the background. The first page opens to a little girl sitting under a washing line; there’s a Bermuda kite, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, longtails, loquats and a picture of North Shore all in quick succession. Tomorrow’s reading will take her outside of her comfort zone.

“But it's something that I'm propelled to do. The book was published in November and I finally got the nerve to read [it in front of people]. My friend Elliott pushed me right into the pool.”

Although publishing the book was nerve-racking because of her inexperience as a writer, Mrs Ogle Dyer was confident in the story she had to share.

“I like to read and by being a nanny and a mum, you read a lot to your kids. So I know that storytelling is the best way to get to them.

“They love stories. I was looking after three kids with my own, at one point. There was lots of fighting and bickering as three-year-olds do, and I used the story that they loved the most at that time, The Three Little Pigs, to help them become aware of their choices. So by connecting choices to a story, it helped me write the lines.”

The Light is available on Amazon.com and at Bermuda Book Store. Janine Ogle Dyer will sign copies at Rock Island Coffee tomorrow, between 10am and 1pm. Reprints of the art from the book will also be available for sale. For more information: janinesd18@gmail.com; 337-8049

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Published July 08, 2022 at 8:09 am (Updated July 11, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Former nanny and mom of three writes a life lesson for children

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