The Horse and the Hurricane King by Loretta Crawford, illus. Ra Savage, Four Seas Books (www.fourseasbooks.com)
Four Seas Books is a new enterprise set up to publish children’s books which will help children manage anger and similar negative emotions. Loretta was inspired to write the book by her son who needed ways to manage his angry feelings. Ra Savage is an artist, photographer and qualified life coach.
The text begins, “Once there was a boy who was always angry. He fought with his friends. He battled with his brother. He protested to his parents. He even shouted at the sun for shining.” One night the boy goes for a ride with a dream horse who provides him with a magic net in which to blow all his angry hurricane breaths, then the horse sinks the net into the river. At the end the boy’s negative emotions are washed away and he finds peace.
The illustrator uses a combination of media including photography, sketching and Photoshop to create an appealing dreamscape. Text appearance, page design, and background colour themes are skilfully used to convey the boy’s emotional journey from anger to acceptance to joy.
The book is written for a niche market, but its serene text and calming pictures have enough appeal to enable it to be sold in the general children’s book market. I can see it being of interest to primary school teachers and child therapists as well as to parents wishing to introduce their children to breathing therapy and meditation. There is a QR code and a reference to an internet site where children can listen to a meditation about finding their special animal friend.
For availability check the website given above. The book is also available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats; Wheelers have the printed book for sale for $19.99.
ISBN 9780473353384 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman