Review Blog

Nov 16 2015

The Power of Henry's Imagination by Skye Byrne

cover image

Ill. by Nic George. Simon and Schuster, 2015. ISBN 9781471145193
Themes: Imagination; Overcoming problems; Loss and grief. Henry has lost a treasured toy rabbit, Raspberry. The search is thorough, but fruitless and his grief remains. Eventually, at his grandfather's suggestion, he uses his imagination to explore the return of Raspberry. This provides consolation, as he discovers that he can imagine his toy friend into existence within his own mind. And perhaps in reality too! This is a book that comes from the philosophy of 'The Secret' - and as such it promotes a point of view that your imagination has power to change your circumstances. Although this is similar to many books where a child's imagination gives them power over their own emotions, helping them deal with their struggles because they have considered alternative ways of viewing their problems, this book takes an additional step, in line with the 'The Secret' philosophy, and suggests that imagination has power to change the circumstances. [I suspect that imagining the end to war and poverty is not within the frame-work of 'The Secret'! I am perhaps revealing my lack of sympathy for this stream of thinking where the universe is in the control of mere mortals with desires (usually from wealthy countries!).]
The illustrations are Mixed media with simple pen and ink drawings, overlaid over a predominantly ochre coloured paper background, with some touches of realistic photographic images near the edges of the page. It is subtle - imagination mixed with reality. This book does deal with an issue that children face, but it is openly part of a philosophical publicity program to influence thinking. (The Secret's logo is on the front cover.) If this was a MacDonald's promotion, would you buy it?
Carolyn Hull

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