Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lady Emma In Her Land of Wonder by Martha M. Harrison

Lady Emma In  Her Land of Wonder by Martha M. Harrison, is a new full color children's book that teaches a lesson about independence and confidence.  Beautifully bound, with glossy pages, and vibrant cartoon styled illustrations, this short tale is about a young girl named Emma who grows up under the protection of her "Father". Initially, the omnipotent Father gave the impression of a deity protecting his beloved child. Its easy for the reader- parents and children alike- to miss the unassuming, simple image of Emma's watchful "Father" lurking behind an ominous tree. The story seemed like a religious allegory to build the faith of young readers as Emma was rescued from trouble and "every dark day" keeping her safe and secure.   The inclusion of trolls, and evil witches could have been symbolic for evil in general. The story  seemed to take on a more New Age tone as another individual referred to as the "Prince" joined in the responsibility for her care and protection.

The repetition of the well known cliche that serves as a lyric throughout the tale,"When trouble came knocking, Emma knew what to do! The same thing you'd do if it happened to you!"  makes this story more memorable for children and less mystical.  Later in the story, there is no doubt that the prince is Emma's husband- and the "Father", is really just Emma's Dad, and not symbolic for God's presence.  There is a picture of a fairytale wedding near a scenic castle.  Yet even after the marriage, Emma still seems childlike, clingy and dependent until she learns she has the inner strength to work through her own problems and hurdles without outside assistance from her protectors. It seems so simple, that children may even believe it for themselves and find themselves motivated to work through their own fears and problems.  It is amazing how many adult women exist in today's society who are very needy and dependent on the men in their lives,  The moral of this story would also be suitable for so many adult women in today's society who just never seem to grow up. 

There is no single illustrator listed on the cover.  The animation styled graphics appear to be a collaborative effort inspired by the author's daughter.  The subtitle in small print, underneath the author's name explains this story is "Based On The Original Story by Jennifer Harrison".  This gives this book a fairy tale or fable like impression considering many fairy tales are retold by modern authors.  The back cover is reminiscent of a scene from a video game, depicting a scene where Emma defeats a dragon.  This scene is not at all part of the book, but only serves to reinforce the theme of confidence.

This beautiful book would make a nice gift for a young girl.  Yet for those children who are headed by single parents, in broken homes, and no fatherhead figure,  the spiritual interpretation as a religious allegory may be more applicable. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Incanto Press for the purpose of writing this review.

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