What's Troubling Tawny?

Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Emma Sandford's debut picture book, The Problem with Poppy, was published by Full Media on 1 June 2021. Set in the Sumatran rainforest, it tells the story of Poppy the porcupine, whose traumatic past causes her to act defensively towards others – until one day when she meets a playful tiger cub and the two develop an unlikely friendship.

Emma wanted to write a children’s book that draws on her own experiences and helps young children overcome certain emotional issues they may have. Unfortunately, due to traumatic events in her own life, Emma has also been defensive in situations where she didn’t need to be, and was frightened to let people get close to her. The Problem With Poppy teaches kids that while everybody has a natural defence mechanism, there is a time and a place to use it.

Before the ink was dry on the first print run of The Problem with Poppy, Emma had written a second book set in Sumatra. What’s Troubling Tawny? was published in January 2022 and the third and final book in the Sumatran Trilogy, Hooray for Heidi!, was released in September 2022. All three were illustrated by Olena Osadcha and have been created in partnership with Rainforest Trust UK. We are proud to say that £1 per book sale of all three titles in the Sumatran Trilogy is going to Rainforest Trust UK, to save the rainforest and the animals that inhabit them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite

What's Troubling Tawny? by Emma Sandford is a gorgeous and original picture book. The way it is illustrated is fabulous. The text is embedded next to the pictures in various ways which makes it all the more appealing. The drawings perfectly complement the text. It is the story of a sad and lonely rhinoceros, Tawny, who learns, thanks to a lovely bird, a hornbill called Tallulah, about friendship and appearances. This is a wonderful book about body positivity and sharing, even if you are completely different like a rhinoceros and a hornbill.

What's Troubling Tawny? by Emma Sandford is a profound children's book whose story will entertain kids but also show them how it is easier to make friends than you imagine. Indeed, Tawny, the lovely little rhinoceros imagines that having a nicer-looking horn will make other rhinoceros be her friends. However, she learns that she was not the only one being shy. And she eventually makes friends and has fun being herself. The moral of the story is that we are all unique and that we do not need to change our appearance to make friends. All children can make friends, whatever they think about themselves. A great story for both children and their parents. What more important message could we share than "you are perfect the way you are, accept your body and yourself". To top it all, this book is set in Sumatra, where animals are endangered because of deforestation. The publisher donates part of the book proceeds to The Rainforest Trust UK.