Feargal is a fictional character who spends all his spare time tending his wildflower garden. He isolates himself from his peers and creates the narrative that he is somewhat excluded from his peer group and their game of hurling. He looks out at his peers playing together and longs to join them. It is evident that Feargal lacks confidence and self-esteem and at one point in the book refers to the wildflowers and insects as his only friends. Feargal’s self-esteem is low and his limiting self-beliefs prevent him from engaging with other children and forming friendships. I think this story would start a very good conversation with children about how our minds can trick us in to believing certain things about ourselves and how others see us.
Books with the subject of sustainability and environmental issues can push us in to uncomfortable places and make us judge the actions and attitudes of ourselves and others. I want this story to inspire children to look at wildflowers differently. To appreciate their vibrant colours and their vital role in biodiversity and food for insects. I am not expecting people to allow their lawns to become completely wild and out of control, but perhaps it would inspire them to leave a wild space in their garden as a home to these wonderful native species. I want people to look at nature differently and change their perspective on what a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing garden should look like. These native Irish wildflowers provide vitally important habitats for native pollinators. It is our native plants to which our native insects are best adapted.