What’s Troubling Tawny by Emma Sandford, illustrated by Olena Osadcha

Regular blog visitors will know how impressed I am by Full Media children’s books. It gives me enormous pleasure, therefore, to share my review of another of their books today. This time it’s What’s Troubling Tawny? by Emma Sandford and illustrated by Olena Osadcha, the second book in the Sumatran Trilogy. You’ll find my review of the first book, The Problem with Poppy, here. My enormous thanks to Nick Jones for d=sending me a copy of What’s Troubling Tawny?.

Published by Full Media on 20th January 2022, What’s Troubling Tawny? is available for purchase here.

What’s Troubling Tawny?

The second book in the Sumatran Trilogy!

Tawny longs to make friends with another rhino, but her shyness holds her back.

When she meets a hornbill called Tallulah, she is surprised to learn that she has a lot in common with the beautiful bird.

Will Tawny find a way to overcome her shyness, and can Tallulah help her find a companion?

My Review of What’s Troubling Tawny?

Tawny is too shy to make friends.

Oh my goodness. What’s troubling Tawny? is just lovely. Not only is it a beautifully illustrated, high quality book of the kind I’ve come to expect from Full Media, but the balance of text to picture means it has the kind of depth that will enable it to be read time and again because there is so much to discover.

The language is challenging enough to develop literacy but is encompassed in a context that also makes it accessible. The Sumatran setting affords lots of opportunity for educational use, with the oils from Tallulah and the mud baths of Tawny and Rusty giving impetus to discover geography and the natural world. I can see primary school teachers rejoicing at What’s Troubling Tawny? if they were to use it in their classrooms.

All that said, however, the greatest success in What’s Troubling Tawny? comes through Emma Sandford’s exploration of body image, similarities and differences, and friendship. The greatest lesson Tawny learns is that she is fine as she is and whilst her shyness is preventing her from making friends, it is equally true that others might be feeling exactly the same way as she is. Through What’s Troubling Tawny? children can learn body confidence, emotional resilience, and empathy, so that this is a book that not only entertains young children, but helps them cope in the world too. I genuinely think What’s Troubling Tawny? is a powerful tool as well as a fun story.

Indeed, What’s Troubling Tawny? is the most gorgeous story of friendship, self-confidence and fun. I loved it.

About Emma Sandford

Emma Sandford is a children’s author based in Cheshire.

For many years, Emma had wanted to write a children’s book that draws on her own experiences and helps young children overcome certain emotional issues they may have. The Problem With Poppy is a fun way of teaching kids that while everybody has a natural defence mechanism, there is a time and a place to use it.

You can find out more on Emma’s website or find her on Instagram.

About Olena Osadcha

Olena Osadcha is a Ukranian digital artist / illustrator based in Kiev. She is passionate about design and has a particular interest and love for children’s book illustration.

You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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