Book Foreword

As authors we want to offer this story to help our young children who have lived through the recent earthquakes in New Zealand, to find healing and a sense of comfort and emotional wellbeing.

This story was created to share with the children of New Zealand and around the world for those who have experienced traumatic events of earthquakes.

This story is also for the children that live in the earthquake zones of the world to enable them to have an educational tool that can support through any major future event. 

 But until they have experienced this for themselves, can not grasp the full meaning of earthquakes or how they feel during or after such an experience, it brings up for so many, a raft of emotions, that they suddenly have to come to terms with.

Are they feeling confused or bewildered about what has been  happening?

Does the child still feel fearful and anxious about what is happening in their environment?

As authors this story is dedicated to the children that perhaps could do with a little help coping and making sense of a very traumatising event through a light-hearted and entertaining story.

This way, it is hoped they can then connect the principles of earthquakes and aftershocks into a fun-filled learning experience, giving them the ability to smile and find comfort when they experience these earth tremors.

This concept of this story  was conceived in the midst of the first major (5.3) aftershock following the main 7.1 quake of 4 September 2010, and continued to support them through the quake of February 22, 2011.

At the time, I was home with 7 grandchildren, ages 1-7, at my side.

After the immediate panic of those terrifying 40 seconds, my immediate thought was for the children.

Were they all alright? Were any of them hurt, or even worse - missing?

Thankfully, after a few yells and shouts and scrambling around the house, everyone was accounted for safe and sound.

However, it was clear from their faces; they all had had a very big scare and emotionally, were very much in shock.

A couple of the younger ones were just starting to cry.

Whenever an aftershock happened…the story came up.

I forgot initially about this moment until my grandchildren came back to comfort me when these following aftershocks occurred, saying “Don’t worry Nana … it is only Mother Earth looking for her teeth…”.  

Having a story,  by which to make sense of a very difficult concept,  is empowering each child,as each day they met up with these earthquakes and aftershocks.

 

TO COMPREHEND  THE POWER AND VELOCITY OF AN EARTH QUAKE, 

Consider this explanation:

If you are a fortunate person NOT  to have experienced the forces of an earthquake,

Can you just  imagine for a moment

being seated in your favourite  chair  and then  literally being  stuck there,  while " someone / something " behind  you,
.....shook it around,  faster and faster ,
.....harder and harder,
....side to side,
....and up and down,
.....watching the ground rising and falling  (nearly up to a metre in height)
and no matter how much you would want to WILL  it to  stop - but still  it just carries on....and with all its force to the point you felt the terror growing and rising up  inside you, as you were  tossed  around, and then  feel  all your instincts of fight or flight  surging in you!!

BUT  you know there is no way to escape and all you can do is hang on with desperation.

.... and   then to top it all off, as a precursor, of this earthquake,  the intense vibrating and rumbling noise that been described as if it sounds like a train driving from some direction and heading inside your place, just  towards you!

THAT LOUD ROAR TERRIFIES MANY AN ADULT.

If as an adult you can  understand this and feel  what is happening , and  still all this fear surges and then rages...., what of our children, who have little or no comprehension of these traumatic events and emotionally where they are being catapulted to.

We aim to translate these fears by association, through building  story book relationships  to the characters in a fun light hearted way .. who when these events occur , as we know now and have a group of young children -
yell at Mother Earth to stop... or to associate the ground movement with her  looking for her teeth and  remind us as adults it ok,  because she is hungry and needs to eat, as she stomps up and down looking for them.

It is encouraging to see complex topics  of earth quakes being COMPREHENDED  by young children, after the reading of these story book to grasp  more of an understanding of the event, and help alleviate the trauma being experienced.... so we wish to share the experiences that have occurred with our group of children to more children further afield.. so they too can experience the  benefits of this association and develop a longlasting and beneficial resileince when encountering these unpredictable events.