STORIES OF THE RED-TAILED HAWK by H.B.  Tawadi

STORIES OF THE RED-TAILED HAWK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A wise, winged creature shares a series of spiritual meditations.

In this illustrated debut collection of rhyming vignettes, a mystical bird, Red-Tail Hawk, visits people from all walks of life to encourage them, reassure them, and remind them of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. A messenger of the basic tenets of faith, the hawk plants seeds of peace in people’s minds, gently nudges them back to the present, and promotes prayer: “Red-Tail Hawk soars the skies, / Sharing the secret that your spirit flies. / ‘Trust your inner source,’ is his call. / ‘It will pick you up when you trip and fall.’ ” The hawk showers readers with insights on a wide variety of subjects, from a mystical shaman disturbed by a violent society to a single mother worried about her children’s welfare and an old man who regrets that he lived a life of “greed and desire.” The hawk teaches that beauty is temporary; an attitude of gratitude is the key to contentment; and one should seek God rather than material things or professional measures of success. All experiences are a lesson, the hawk advises, and readers should learn from them rather than wallow. The final edict of the hawk is: “The future is illusion; the past is just dreams. Stay here in the present. Life is better than it seems.” While Tawadi’s simple vignettes are moving, the real magic of this book lies in the images by debut illustrators Lucine and Redbone. The full-page pictures capture both people and landscapes in bold blues, golden yellows, rusty reds, verdant greens, and inky blacks with tactile details. On the surface, this volume appears to be appropriate for children, especially given its colorful visual form and straightforward storytelling. But its themes of suffering and death (even suicide, in the case of a hopeless veteran whom the hawk discourages from ending his own life) might be too morbid for young audiences. The work’s teachings are also somewhat elementary for adults who have been exposed to a religious or spiritual education.

A soulful and visually stunning exploration of faith in poetic form.

Pub Date: May 4th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5043-8002-7
Page count: 35pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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