Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Eric the Oracle series by Kate H.N. - A review

Eric the Oracle series by Kate H.N.
Illustrated by: Tim Bulmer
Written for Key Stage 1&2 children, 7-11 years

Published by: Blockley Bank Books
Ebooks available from: March 2017
Price: ebooks £2.99, printed copies £5.99 or a set of 6 £29.95

The Eric the Oracle series of self help books for young readers is a charming collection of beautifully illustrated tales, that use a woodland setting and its creatures to metaphorically play out real life scenarios. Each story brings a message on how to deal with difficult situations that may arise for  children as they grow up.

Author Kate H.N. has enjoyed a continuous career working with children and families; nursing, midwifery, health visiting, counselling and hypnotherapy. It is perhaps easy to understand then, how she has come to weave her knowledge and experience throughout her stories; her love of writing naturally lending itself to help children and young people develop resilience, self-esteem and confidence.

I particularly sense Kate's hypnotherapy skills coming through; her clever use of language and sentence structure create calm, helping the reader in turn to digest the content. Hence the tag line, relax and learn.

I read three of the six ebooks. Self-acceptance, mindfulness and bullying were addressed. Other meaty topics covered include loss and bereavement and saying no to strangers. Warty and wise, Eric the Oracle the lead character, advises and counsels woodland inhabitants through something they don't necessarily see, understand or won't talk about. A morally subtle yet clear message is conveyed alongside stunning illustrations.

These books could do with being on the shelf for growing children to dip in and out of as and when they feel the need. Parents and carers can read them aloud, then discuss the important and sensitive issues raised. As families, we need more books that encourage open and healthy debate.

A collection of subtle yet ultimately powerful self help stories that teach children a great sense of right over wrong, leaving them to think on a clear and helpful message. They are indeed a gentle introduction to some of the greatest battles we may ever face in life.