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Finding her sparkle again



By Sheree Hoddinett

RomeCabs Sewers has experienced so much unimaginable trauma in her life. While you wouldn’t know to look at her now, she’s certainly been in the absolute depths of despair. RomeCabs is a survivor of physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse, which she encountered from a young age. She released a book about it in 2019 called Because I was abused. Using her past to make a difference in the future for others that may find themselves going through difficult times, RomeCabs, a Caboolture-based author, has now released a children’s book called Pika: The fairy who found her sparkle.

After everything she went through as a child, RomeCabs knew the importance of creating a book that children could relate to. She wanted to get the message across that no matter what was happening in their lives, they weren’t alone and that it was okay to have feelings about it, but to also talk to others about how they were feeling. It also highlights a lot of important factors for adults too.

“The messages within it are all things that I think are really important, for the adults to become aware,” RomeCabs said. “So as adults are hearing it, there'll be those almost like subliminal messages like what is really important and how to support that child when they're feeling the way they are, but ultimately just noticing those signs when they appear.

“And because it doesn't actually say sexual abuse obviously, because it's for children, but it can actually be for any child who's going through any childhood trauma. This could be domestic violence or bullying or something else major happening in their lives that’s affecting them in a big way.”

Although she had never thought about writing a children’s book, for RomeCabs, writing this story was relatively easy. It came together a lot quicker than her current book she’s still working on!

“I was doing a fairy festival in May last year when a friend who’s very intuitive asked me when I was writing the kids book,” RomeCabs said. “I told her I don’t write kids’ books; I write books for adults to read.

“Then after spending time with kids at the fairy festival, getting ready and putting on my fairy wings, that whole experience inspired me and when I was back at home, it just came through to me. It was almost like taking myself back to being a child and I thought about what would have been helpful for me.”

Now published and available to read, RomeCabs is excited everything has come to fruition. She also has nothing but praise for illustrator Dani Rasmussen, who has brought Pika and the other characters to life.

“Pika is my alter ego and it’s amazing to watch her come to life through Dani’s work,” RomeCabs said. “Dani's just such a beautiful and talented person. And I think a lot of what I had to say and my perspective of things was aligned with hers. So I was so grateful for us to have this, for her to be able to show what she can do as well, that makes me happy.”

Interest in Pika: The fairy who found her sparkle is building, with requests for RomeCabs to visit local childcare centres to read with the children.

“I’d love to make it a whole event where I get dressed up, bring my little worms and I go in and read with them, but also things like where we make Pika’s favourite rainbow bread or cinnamon sugar sprinkle toast,” RomeCabs said. “I’d also love to do sound meditation so that way the kids can have a bit of fun.

“I also included questions in the back of the book, where adults reading it can ask those questions. It's just a guide and then there's a little activity at the end where they can dance. Then they can say to themselves I am safe and I am loved. So if there is anybody or any child who is sitting in this space who might get a little affected by it all, then I want them to come back to that feeling safe.”

So, will there be more books about Pika?

“Everyone keeps asking me that,” RomeCabs said with a laugh. “It is a possibility, I mean my journey is far from over, so Pika’s journey can continue as well.

“I’ve bought myself a hula hoop and I’ve thought about taking that with me when I visit kids and do a reading so they can do a little fun activity with hula hoops. Maybe Pika can go on a circus adventure. Watch this space, you just never know!”

Pika: The fairy who found her sparkle is available on Amazon. If you would like to find out more about using this book as a resource in a childcare or educational facility, please reach out to RomeCabs on 0400 921 091 or via email romeccasawers@gmail.com

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