Rosie and the Friendship Angel / Everybody Feels Fear

Rosie and the Friendship Angel
Lucinda Riley & Harry Whittaker, illustrated by Jane Ray
Macmillan Children’s Books

This is the third of the Guardian Angel series written by Lucinda Riley with her son Harry Whittaker before her death in 2021. Like the previous ones it’s based on stories she would tell her childen when they were facing challenging situations that made them fearful.

Here we meet young Rosie and her Guardian Angel Frederick. It’s Rosie’s first day at a new school and she is feeling very nervous as she ‘s greeted by her teacher Miss Marshall and reluctantly lets go of her father’s hand. Rosie is introduced to her classmates, one of whom, Jessica, has been asked to look after the newcomer. However Jessica doesn’t seem particularly friendly and come playtime Rosie is made to feel an intruder.

By the end of the day she’s feeling invisible and lonely, especially after what happens in the final task.
That night having kept her feelings to herself, Rosie lies awake in bed and she makes a wish, a wish that is heard by Angel Frederick, whose job it is to help anybody in need of a new friend.

Frederick moves down towards Rosie’s home town and sets in motion events that result in Rosie finding a wonderful new friend.

Starting at a new school is an event that many children find stressful and scary and this gentle story is one that could help them overcome those fearful feelings. Jane Ray’s illustrations are strikingly beautiful and capture Rosie’s anxiety perfectly. There’s a special angel bookmarked ribbon attached to this lovely book.

Everybody Feels Fear
Ashwin Chacko
Dorling Kindersley

As this book’s creator asserts we all have fears, some long-lasting, others much less so, some are small and some can be huge and overwhelmingly. This picture book is an exploration of the wide variety of fears we might have, from spiders to mice and bears to monsters. The text starts in rhyme and part way through changes to prose that offers encouraging words about fears: no matter how seemingly overwhelming a fear feels, with a modicum of courage, ‘as small as a mustard seed’ we can begin to face up to whatever is making us fearful. Assuredly fear does not define a person and most importantly love fuels courage and ‘where love lives fear cannot be.’ In other words, working together is the way to go.

Chacko uses a wacky, bold illustrative style combining it with arresting typography to put across his important message. This zany book offers a helpful starting point to encourage children to talk about their fears and in a classroom could act as the prelude to a circle time discussion.

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