A Review of the book ‘King Billy and the Royal Road’ by Sinead Fine
I love the idea of a Tarot book for children, so when RC Ajuonuma, the author of King Billy, sent me a copy of his book for review I jumped at the chance to check it out.
The book is softback with a beautiful cover. I LOVE the illustrations inside by artist Beverly Young.
The back of the book says the following…
‘Billy lives like a prince with his mum, eating all the feasts and treats a boy could want. He doesn’t know much about people and places because she never lets him out.
One day, he wakes up peckish and sneaks off for a snack. But what begins as a trip to town becomes a search for a new friend and the start of a magical journey…’
So the whole idea is that Billy sets off on a journey and meets each of the archetypes of the Major Arcana. The book is written in a fun rhyming style and is easy to read.
My five year old child (who loves listening to stories) lay in bed the first night and I read it for him as he listened in the dark. He loved it. He asked for it again the next night which is always a good sign.
At times the story would change abruptly but my son loved it and asked lots of questions when this happened. It brought him into his imagination and he started going off on tangents about different characters in the book. At one stage he decided he was Billy and what Billy would do when the book was finished.
The story is formatted in three line poetry verses, mostly rhyming. The book is subdivided into 13 chapters with each chapter given a number. That was the only strange thing for me as I would have loved 22 chapters and once or twice I was not sure what character we were talking about. At the same time I did not mind as I feel the essence of the characters can come through anyway.
The book is divided into three parts :
Part 1 – The Way to Your Heart
Part 2 – Be Brave, Be True
Part 3 – What Was Lost Can Be Found
I asked Reg (RC) where the urge came to write this book. Reg has been reading Tarot since 2009 and had the urge from early on to write a book for children that focused on the archetypal energies of the Major Arcana. When his son was born it gave Reg the impetus to write the book. He explained that what interested him most was the idea of how a child emerges from the embrace of a parent to find their own place in the world.
Reg noticed that before reading the book to a child he would ask them what they would wish for if they had the chance. After reading the book he would ask the same question and the answer would always be deeper and more expansive. The children obviously went on a similar journey of self discovery (individuation) just like Billy.
The story was not always gentle, but either is life and I felt the themes were dealt with well for children. It was definitely a topic of conversation for a week with my little boy.
This book is geared for 5 – 8 year old’s and I would highly recommend it.