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How Henry David Thoreau Inspired A Children’s Book – Ilias’ Mountain

posted by Anthony on October 24, 2017


“It is not what you look at that matters, but what you see” is a quote that forms the basis for Lilian Kars’ latest children’s story, Ilias’ Mountain. A tale of perseverance and perspective, the story of this very “ordinary” boy is one that will be familiar to many. This idea is summed up well in these words, written by Henry David Thoreau, that have gone on to inspire many – Lilian Kars included.

“This

helped me a lot throughout my life,” says Lilian. “You can look at things, circumstances and behavior from so many different angles and when you do, your empathy, your understanding for yourself and others just grows and grows.” This interpretation of Thoreau’s words can be found throughout Ilias’ Mountain. Lilian’s latest book, Ilias’ Mountain delivers a story about perspective and compassion in a way that children will understand. Coupled with the beautiful watercolour illustrations from Steffie Padmos, you can feel the emotion and the honesty that brought this story to life; the wonderful and astute philosophy of Thoreau shining through at the turn of each page.

“You can look at things, circumstances and behavior from so many different angles and when you do, your empathy, your understanding for yourself and others just grows and grows.”

A renowned poet, philosopher, historian, and author. Thoreau is likely best remembered for famous quotes like the above and also his 1854 novel Walden. A reflection on ‘simple living’ in natural surroundings, Walden describes Thoreau’s time living in the woods to live on nothing but what was essential. He felt this was required to concentrate on his writing and the novel is still well regarded to this day.

American author John Updike is just one of many inspired by Thoreau’s most famous work, saying: “A century and a half after its publication, Walden has become such a totem of the back-to-nature, preservationist, anti-business, civil-disobedience mindset, and Thoreau so vivid a protester, so perfect a crank and hermit saint, that the book risks being as revered and unread as the Bible.” Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr are amongst those who have been influenced by Thoreau too.

Ilias’ Mountain is perhaps the most recent work to have been influenced by Thoreau and it certainly won’t be the last. His legacy has survived long past his death in 1862 (age, 44) and his simple, pragmatic and often passionate view of the world and its people will continue to inspire further generations.

Ilias’ Mountain by Lilian Kars and Steffie Padmos is available now for just £7.99. Click here to order from our website. Alternatively, the book is also available online in the following places and from all good high street bookshops.

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