The Well of Being: A Children’s Book for Adults by Jean-Pierre Weill

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The Well of Being: A Children’s Book for Adults by Jean-Pierre Weill
Publisher: Jean-Pierre Weill Studios
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (216 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Well of Being: a children’s book for adults is an illustrated inquiry into the pursuit of happiness, and what it means to be radically alive in our daily moments. This adult picture book takes its reader on a quest for well‐being and self‐acceptance, following the story of a wondering everyman. The projective tale summons the reader’s inner child as a complimentary vehicle to drive the plot through bold reflection and earnest doubt. Assisted by cosmic perspective, the faceless protagonist sets out to retrieve the deep self-comfort and inner wellness lost along life’s way.

Is happiness a choice? Come take a contemplative journey through lessons children know but adults have long since forgotten as you explore this question.

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading this tale. The blurb piqued my curiosity as soon as I read it, though, and within a few pages I knew this is something I will be revisiting over and over again. I was especially interested in how open the author is to people from any religion. His message transcends the normal boundaries between religions and seems to be specifically designed to appeal to anyone who has ever attempted to improve the world around them.

My sole criticism of an otherwise wonderful story has to do with how quickly the author assumes that what he has to say won’t be useful to people who don’t believe in any gods. Given how inclusive his later discussions are about how to reframe our perceptions and quell our anxieties, I see no reason not to market this message to everyone. The few sections that assume a shared belief in the supernatural can easily be reframed for those who don’t agree with them due to how flexible the definitions of terms like Oneness have already become.

The illustrations that accompany each page are absolutely beautiful. They fit the understated tone and peaceful theme perfectly. Looking at them make me wish I had a hardcover copy of it because it’s the type of book that deserves to be proudly displayed in one’s home.

Take the time to explore the endnotes after the final scene ends. Some of the notes in it are about topics that virtually every adult has heard of, but others mention people, places, and things that were new to this reader. It was a real pleasure to thumb through it and catch references that I missed the first time around.

Don’t be fooled by the word count. The Well of Being: A Children’s Book for Adults can easily be read in one sitting. Like all timeless picture books, it’s as mesmerizing the second, third, and fourth time around as it was the first.

Comments

  1. I appreciate your very thoughtful comments about my book. It’s interesting to me that my book may allow a reader to assume my belief in the “supernatural”. It is, as it happens, not a belief of mine. That is to say, I do not wish to look upon the world as requiring the supernatural. To me, the world is more beautiful and mysterious without that concept. The existence or non-existence of God is not a useful question for me. I am not an atheist and I am not a “believer”. Best wishes to you. JPW

  2. Astilbe says:

    Thank you for clearing that up! I really enjoyed reading your book.

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