Book Review – Dr Phil Noone, Senior Consultant, The Book Hub Publishing Group
The Charka Fairies: A Magical Mantra for Children by Dr Mary Helen Hensley
I’m in Albania on holidays, sitting on a white plastic chair in a tiny café, beside the beach. The tattered, white umbrella offering shade as I write. I’m anonymous here. I like that. The feeling of space it offers to write, tucked away.
It’s quiet. I’m alone. The beach a scattering of blue and green umbrellas and many old rusting sun chairs. Scarce resources. Nothing dumped. A smattering of people milling around. Its Saturday, weekend, day off. Locals speaking in foreign tongue. Enchanting this strangeness, this uniqueness, the one of me in this place. Irish.
I read alone. I write alone. Solitude. For me, reading and writing brings me into a different space, of wonder, magic, tactile imagination, sensory explosion of another dimension.
I have a new Book. Given to me by Dr Niall at BookHub publishing. Its title: The Chakra Fairies: A Magical Mantra for Children by an American author, long domiciled in Ireland, Dr Mary Helen Hensley.
What is it:
This is an utterly magical book, innovative, creative, like a ‘big bear hug for children’. It is ‘love’ that reverberates off the cover, love of fun, sharing, caring, being, excitement. It captures it all – the golden ingredients of life and tells it through the magical mantra of the Chakra Fairies. This book touches my heart, hugs it with love, splinters it apart letting the tiny particles sparkle and fly into my different charkas (energy engines- doubt you – we all have them!!). As adults, so grown up, we think we have our lives and the world sorted. Not a bit of it!! Let’s join Dr Mary Helen Hensley as she provides an entertaining passage-way to explore magic with children.
Anna Boles is the artist and she’s now artist-in-residence at Book Hub. Her ability to capture the magic of fairy land is, in essence, incredible. The cover captivates with its mesmerising display of colour, 7 smaller fairies and 1 rainbow fairy. Relaxing in an enchanted land of trees, waterfalls, ponds, plants. Fairies are dressed in their own distinctive chakra colours. It is ingenious. I thank you Anna for bringing this story so alive and for your ability to reach out to children through colour depiction and story. These fairies take my breath away. Their gentleness and fun is so part of the fairy magic of life. It ignites the child in me. But it is more than that. This book can be used as a teaching tool to gently guide and explore issues of love, relationships, self-esteem – often very challenging topics to discuss with young children.
I am incredibly struck by the BookHub logo at the bottom of the page, underneath which is a superb illustration of the chakra or energy system. It is tiny, colourful, discrete. This is at the bottom of each page, encapsulating the page numbers.
The colour in this book is strikingly vibrant against the snowflake white of the paper and the black print. So eye catching. So perfect. So beautiful. To me, this book is like a ‘conversation train’, of many carriages, full of saucy fairies, each one carrying a very important message of love and care to our children. The fairy messages are in rhythm. For example, the Red Fairy:
“The First Chakra Fairy is dressed all in red
She swishes and swirls at the end of the bed
She reminds you that you are on Earth to have fun
To learn and to grow; to dance in the sun”
Do I have a special fairy?
Who said ‘no’! Of course I do. But it may change daily depending on life events. I like the “Yellow Fairy” because she represents self-love. For me, this fairy speaks to adults as much as children with its message “you are a star fantastic and perfect just as you are”. It challenges the message so often spouted today that “we are never enough, have never done enough, are not good enough”. Hang on a minute!! If I am able to accept who I am, just for me, then I believe this leads to enhanced self-esteem and well-being. Simple message, conveyed by Dr Helen through her fairy chakras.
Is nearing sunset. The shadows of the fading sun are stilling the air, creating a night-time moment for the chakra fairies.
For me, this illustrated book offers children an escapism into their world of imagination through the beautifully rhyming stories of the chakra fairies. It teaches children about their energy systems and through its wonder it offers adults a medium to talk to children about love, belonging, being honest, expressing their feelings and about how wonderful they are, just as they are. This book contain what Heidegger describes as the ‘essence of being’. It is for everyone.
I truly loved it. I wish to thank Dr Mary Helen Hensley for writing it, Anna Boles for her illustrations and creative artwork and BookHub publishing for giving me this opportunity to review its wonders.
Good night and thank you from Albania, my fairy wonder.