Fairies are magical, and when Banana Leaf Faerie, Amiyah Lake, makes an appearance, magic things happen. Especially, when it involves bringing joy to the island’s children.
Amiyah, along with author, Joan Aspinall, and Ronnie Chameau, creator of banana leaf dolls, teamed up at Gilbert Institute in Paget to distribute a complimentary gift of Ms Aspinall’s book entitled the Banana Leaf Faerie Elf to all 128 children in the primary school.
Bermudian author/artist, Joan K. Aspinall’s charity promotion called Books for Kids was responsible for donating over $5,000 retail worth of the Banana Leaf book this past Christmas to Bermuda charities. “We wanted to do this for the school at Christmas,” Ms Aspinall said, ” but with so much holiday excitement, we decided on a quieter time.”
“The parents of Gilbert Institute supported me a year ago Christmas with book purchases,” said Aspinall,” so this is a nice way to pay them back for their support of a local author.” Ms Aspinall stated that it was wonderful to have a continuity with the same children who are already familiar with her work.
Ms. Aspinall opened her presentation by teaching the children the faerie words “Bana Fluun,” a faerie greeting with a special connotation meaning “my precious one.” She told the children to address each other, their parents, and their teacher in this manner. “I wonder if it worked,” she mused.
Ronnie Chameau, whose actual photo is incorporated in the colourful artwork, appeared in the same pumpkin-coloured cloth hat depicted in the illustrations. One startled P1 child gasped, “I thought you stepped out of the pages of the book.”
Ms Chameau carried a sample of a dried banana leaf along with one of her whimsical banana leaf angels that she allowed the children to examine. After Ms. Aspinall concluded the lively book presentation, Ronnie, along with faerie elf Amiyah, distributed books to the excited children.
“I am looking for individuals or companies to sponsor books for other schools,” Ms Aspinall said. “The three of us work as a team, and we do a great presentation. It’s an invaluable lesson for the children when we share this wonderful Bermudian craft that Ronnie has kept alive. Asides from that, it’s fun. Who doesn’t want to meet a real life Banana Leaf Faerie and exchange her magical greeting—Bana Fluun.”
If anyone is interested in the presentation or sponsoring a school, contact Ms Aspinall at firstname.lastname@example.org