Reviews /

A Horse Called Now

Authored by Ruth Doyle
Illustrated by Alexndra Finkeldey
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd

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Now, the Horse, enjoys the singing of the birds, the chattering of the crickets and all the wonders of nature. But Rabbit fears being chased by a fox, and Hen thinks a swooping magpie will catch her chicks. Now is approached by panicky animals and birds in turn. They all have a fear of the worst or have learned prejudice against another.

Now calms each of them, providing words of wisdom for what might have happened instead, a more balanced opinion, a safer alternative explanation. Is the farmer’s new dog really terrifying? Is the magpie really trying to eat hen’s chicks? Is the fox chasing the bunnies at this very moment in broad daylight? Well, even though these things might be true, or they may not (you’ll find out at the end of the story), are these bad things actually happening to you right now? When a thunderstorm arrives, Now leads her friends to shelter where they soon discover that not everything is as frightening as it seems. In this very moment, when the day is beautiful and nature is all around you to be enjoyed.

A Horse Called Now reflects the learned behaviours we see in human society that skews reality for young people. Children engaging with this story and its underlying messages will hopefully add its teachings and morals to their own emotional and reasoning toolkits.
A sensitively written picture book which will appeal to adults and children alike this will instigate conversations about different worries that people may have, in a safe and comforting way.

A Horse Called Now beautifully encapsulates the journey of overcoming worries and embracing the present moment. ‘When I’m afraid, I breathe in and out and let the feelings come . . . and then go. Nothing lasts forever.’ In today’s world, mental health awareness is paramount, especially for young children. The story instils the notion that it’s perfectly alright not to feel okay at times, and that seeking help is a commendable action. Through its narrative, A Horse Called Now emphasises the significance of friendship and support networks.

With its timeless message and delightful storytelling by Ruth Doyle and enchanting illustrations by Alexandra Finkeldey, this book is poised to become a modern classic, offering readers a heartfelt and enjoyable experience. I loved it and can thoroughly recommend it.