Editor | Spirituality
Teaching children through bedtime stories is a tradition that has become extinct.
Trishla Jain, about this unique concept of teaching children through bedtime stories, said: “As my children were growing older and I was reading to them every night I realised there were so many things I wanted to teach them about through stories. I wanted to teach them how to chant Om, I wanted to teach them about different types of religions and what they were all about. I wanted to teach them how beautiful and strong they were as children. That’s when I thought about writing down some stories of my own.
“Chanting Om was something I used to do as a young girl with my grandfather. Ever since probably the age of two or three, we used to wake up early in the morning and sit together and chant Om just the way that its written about in Om the Gnome – starting with the Aaaah , followed by the Ohhhh ending with the Mmmmm, and that’s really the complete primordial sound. And as I was teaching the children this, they seemed to get a little bored and lost. Then I thought what if I put it into the form of a story. Since the sound of Om is so beautiful, naturally it started rhyming with beautiful words like Gnome and comb and the story started to kind of create itself. When I taught the children using the story they were enthralled and excited to chant Om with Om the Gnome and they understood that it helped them detangle the knots – both physical, emotional and mental knots using the sound of Om.
One of the really fun things hidden in these books is the chance for the children to find little creatures hidden on each page. There’s three little characters in Om the Gnome. There is a lady bug, a feather and a little mouse and they are hiding on every single spread of the book and that allows the children, who are even very young to play a little game while they read.
The story of Sunrise, Moonrise came about because one day the children asked me if they were Christian because they knew that some of their friends were going to Church. They started talking to me about God and what religion is in different ways. I wanted them to have a basic understanding of all the different religions and some of the different temples, synagogues and mosques and the different religious sights and practices, like chanting. But I also wanted them to understand that ultimately, fundamentally all the religions are about the same thing which is showing care, compassion and love towards living beings of all types. That’s really what Sunrise Moonrise is all about. It’s taking a look, really zooming out, taking a ride with these celestial bodies – the sun and the moon swooping around the earth and seeing that ultimately to pray only means to care. Learning about this through this journey is a beautiful way for children to understand religion and what it really means.
Sunrise Moonrise: Praying can come in all shapes and sizes. Some people pray in temples, while others meditate.
Travel with the sun and the moon in this heartfelt picture book to find out how people from different cultures and faiths pray. Read Sunrise, Moonrise aloud to spark a discussion with your young ones about the meaning of prayer and what it can do for us.
Om the Gnome and the Chanting Comb: When a gnome called Om receives a shiny comb on his birthday, little does he know that he’s going to learn an important lesson. Om the Gnome and the Chanting Comb unpacks the magic behind the beautiful sound of OM through words and illustrations that are both exquisite and inclusive. Read this book out loud to help your young ones feel light and free.
A fan of vegetables, meditation and tidiness, Trishla Jain calls herself ‘a work in progress’. She is dedicated to deep, mindful living. As a mother of two, she writes books that bring families together to explore spirituality in a light, magical way.
Trishla fell in love with English literature while at Stanford University in California, where she resides today. Trishla recently founded Longwalks, an app that helps inspire meaningful connection.