Reviews, News, Press


Angels and Horses

Reviewed by Tata Isabella Burton
Posted on February 17th, 2010 - 11:10

The opening to Angels and Horses, the first in Kimberly Wickham's supernatural philosophy-laden trilogy about grade-schooler Tina and her adventures in the Cosmic Lattice, may be familiar to readers of children's fantasy. A young child, upset about her mother's possibly fatal illness, starts crying, only to be interrupted by the hint of something greater just beyond the horizon. Like Diggory Kirke in C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, Wickham's Tina is overwhelmed, feeling that the world is beyond her control. Between her mother's sickness, the taunting of schoolyard bully Chucky, and the terrifying looming of adolescence in the distance, Tina is over her head in worry. But the arrival of Marguerite, her mysterious guardian angel, offers Tina an escape. While Lewis's Narnia series pictured escape as a jaunt into world of knights and castles, talking unicorns and cackling witches, Wickham boldly grounds her plot firmly in the “real world” - the lessons that Marguerite teaches Tina about life, her friends, and herself are gradually applied in real-world settings.

Angels and Horses, and the two novels that follow, continue Tina's spiritual development as she learns more about the philosophy of the Law of Attraction. Positive thinking, Wickham suggests, has the power to move mountains – human beings can choose how they react to setbacks, seeing them either as insurmountable obstacles or as chances to improve their own outlook and behavior. Even the incorrigible Chucky, Marguerite tells Tina, is a blessing in disguise: it is only by coping with Chucky's teasing that Tina can learn how to be a kind and generous young woman. These lessons are at first difficult to grasp, but ultimately Tina's new way of looking at the world proves fruitful: her beloved mother becomes healthy again.

Much of Angels and Horses revolves around Tina's life lessons; it is only in the second book of the series, Summer of Magic Horses, that the supernatural elements of the series come fully into their own, as Tina and her friends are guided by Marguerite into the world of the Cosmic Lattice, an in-between-space in which anything is possible – children can turn into bears, horses can be conjured out of thin air, and magic, or something like it, is omnipresent. It's the sort of concept bound to capture the wonder of any child who has ever played pretend, and Wickham handles it skillfully, rendering the second two books of the series slightly more engaging than the first (although this is by no means an uncommon issue in fantasy series; the first book is required to pull the lion's share of expositional weight).

Wickham's choice to ground her plot and characters so deeply in the philosophy of the Laws of Attractive is a risky one; it may be that older or more “savvy” tweens find elements of the storyline didactic, and consider themselves too sophisticated for hugging horses and guardian angels. But for younger readers, especially those reading with parents ready and able to turn the book into an opportunity for discussion, the book provides a wealth of useful, even inspiring life lessons (when was the last time you saw Bella Swan or Blair Waldorf as excited as Tina is about discovering E = MC2?) grounded in relatable real-world examples (the best of which comes in the case of the socially inept junior neurotic Marly, whom Tina learns to take under her wing, gaining a new appreciation for Marly's book smarts even as she helps Marly negotiate the perilous waters of tweenager friendship) Particularly successful are Wickham's ink drawings, fantastical images of horses, angels, and the book's heroes that evoke the quaint whimsy of an earlier era of children's literature.

Ultimately, Angels and Horses' celebration of philosophy, physics, and above all, positive thinking are admirable, and Wickham is to be commended for a series that is at once a highly useful teaching tool for families and a heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and just a pinch of magic.

Wholesalers, Look Out! Other Worldly Lessons Available in Whimsical Cards and Prints

By Tara Burton
Posted on September 21st, 2009 - 08:51

Looking for the latest marketing trend for creative children everywhere? Then look no further than the latest art sensation by children's book author Kimberly Wickham, whose Angels and Horses children's book series has been capturing the imaginations of a new generation of children and young adults who are more interested in magic and faraway worlds than in the consumer-driven label-dropping Gossip Girl or Clique series. The whimsical drawings and paintings of Kimberly Wickham - which combine the best in children's fiction: young girls, horses, and fantasy - depict some of children's best-loved images in new and exciting ways. Thus, in "The Comforting Horse," a horse sits upright to comfort a child in distress, while in "Collage," an abstract pattern vaguely reminiscent of Native American design mixes lifelike painted horses with simple pen-sketched deer. Already available at low costs from Kimberly Wickham's website, her artwork is now available for substantial discounts when ordered in large quantities.

Wickham's interest in and talent for art has been present ever since she was a child. Raised amid the ancient columns and cobblestone streets of Rome, Italy, Wickham developed an eye for color and form, which is evident in much of her artwork. Four degrees (in Art, Art History, Teaching, and Humanities) later, with over twenty years of art teaching experience, Wickham has used her talents in a variety of ways: from creating a stained glass panorama for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Margaretville, NY to writing a powerful series of children's books that blends imagination and warmth with a philosophical take on the meaning of life.

The Angels and Horses series, which includes Angels and Horses, Summer of Magic Horses, and Angels, Horses and Other Worldly Lessons, is the story of young Tina, who learns how to look beyond the physical world into other realms of magic and wonder with the help of her guardian angel, Marguerite, and pet horse Dancer. The mystical landscapes Wickham envisions are informed by her philosophy of "The Law of Attraction" - stating that positive thinking can effect positive change on a quantum level.

Wickham's artwork is available from http://www.kimberlywickham.com

How One Woman Expresses Metaphysical Ideas Through Art

 

September 4, 2009 ( PowerHomeBiz.com ) - The Giclee prints, cards, and prints of children's book author Kimberly Wickham, the creative mind behind the Angels and Horses children's book series, are not your typical young adult fare. Rather than the glossy photographs of too-skinny, makeup-wearing girls portrayed on the covers of the latest brand offerings from Alloy Entertainment (of the "A List" and "Gossip Girl" fame), Wickham's work seems to be in touch with what it means to be a child perched on the cusp of adolescence: at once whimsical and imaginative, full of fantasy and heart.

In "The Comforting Horse," for example, a horse sits upright in order to hug a distressed little girl in her hooves, while "Chair Collapsing into its Wave Potential" sees the quantum potential for magic in the most seemingly mundane of objects. Like her children's books, Wickham's art seeks to capture the wonder of childhood.

Wickham's books in the Angels and Horses series - among them Angels and Horses, Summer of Magic Horses, and Angels, Horses and Other Worldly Lessons - all explore the adventures of a young girl called Tina, who learns to overcome real-world challenges like a parent's illness and schoolyard bullies with "other worldly" solutions as she learns more about the powers of the "law of attraction." This law, made famous by the self-help phenomenon "The Secret," suggests that positive thinking can actually change the world at a quantum level, and that philosophical and creative thought - which Tina learns to exercise with the help of her guardian angel Marguerite and beloved pet horse Dancer - can be a step towards improving one's own life.

Wickham's art reflects this notion, with mystical paintings and drawings like those depicting a series of riders crossing the "Cosmic Lattice" into the unknown. Wickham's art has always had a mystical bent - she created a stained glass panorama for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Margaretville, NY, at the young age of 20 - and through twenty years of experience and four degrees, including those in Art and Art History, along with Teaching and Humanities, has developed her craft into an inspiration for children, parents, and educators alike.

More information about Kimberly Wickham and her artwork can be found at http://www.kimberlywickham.com

November 12, 2008

“Angels and Horses” and “Summer of Magic Horses” 
By Kimberly Wickham

AUGUSTA, GA - Philosophy for young children?  In two new wonderful compositions, Kimberly Wickham argues yes in favor of opening the doors of childhood minds with “Angels and Horses” and “Summer of Magic Horses.”

With over 20 years experience teaching the visual and performing arts, Kimberly Wickham is a gifted educator with a fascination for horses and art. After spending the majority of her young life in Europe, Wickham returned to the United States at age 18, and began to use art as a means of self-discovery. After a life spent in education, Wickham has returned to her passion to argue for the necessity of philosophy and critical thought in schools with the release of two wonderful books. 

“Angels and Horses” is a wonderful journey of self-exploration in the company of a little girl, a horse, a cat, and a guardian angel. Within this fascinating story, a little girl named Tina learns how to cope with the world while being true to herself.  Within this framework, Wickham offers a starting point for conversations between adults and children about the meanings behind the taken-for-granted, do-as-I-say-do education offered in the average public school. In this regard, she dares kids to open their minds in a world of fantastic adventure. 

The “Summer of Magic Horses” finds Tina with her trusty horse undertaking further lessons at a summer camp. In this special place, Tina is entrusted with the task of improving her horsemanship skills, but along the way she also discovers a land of mystery in the workings of the universe, the laws of attraction, the placement of the sciences, and the quantum forces beyond the world. In all these endeavors, Tina embarks on a passionate pursuit to fill the recesses of her childlike wonder with the depths of information available in the wide universe beyond the average school lesson.

In both these books, the message at the heart of experience is thought. Philosophical thought matched with the power of childhood imagination could very well form a basis for a better educational system throughout the world. Until this lesson finds a home in the systems of our world, readers can share the beauty of thought and discussion with their own children simply by offering these intricate stories and being prepared to listen to the questions that arise as a result.

MATH, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND...PHILOSOPHY FOR YOUNG CHILDREN?

by Education Desk
October 09, 2008

AUTHOR EXPLORES THE REASONS WHY PHILOSOPHY IS CRITICAL SUBJECT MATTER MISSING FROM YOUR CHILD´S LESSON PLAN.

It is easy to identify the importance of the "basic" studies that characterize children´s everyday class load, particularly in the pre-adolescent years, where they are most impressionable. Mathematics supply necessary skills applicable to everyday life, history enriches knowledge of the past and science teaches children what exactly makes the world go round.

However, can any of these disciplines truly teach children what it all really means?

This is where author Kimberly Wickham points out a glaring void in a child´s education. Philosophy, she explains, allows children to go beyond understanding the sheer mechanics of how one plus one equals two to embrace how it all fits into the world around them. In her new books, Angels and Horses and Summer of Magic Horses, Wickham entices children to activate parts of their brains that go further than processing logical objectives.

"In school, pre-adolescent children are only taught courses that explain the technicalities of the world around them," Wickham explains. "What´s lacking is encouragement to enlighten themselves on a level where they can process emotional and personal equations in their life as well."

Many may question the ability of pre-adolescent children to digest the subjective nature of philosophy. On the contrary, it is at this time when children display a "natural tendency for philosophical thought," as Wickham puts it. Just as the brain at this stage in life is more compliant to absorbing and retaining a foreign language, the same principal applies to philosophy.

"Developing these skills has shown long-term positive effects," says Wickham. "Philosophy aides in the development of critical thinking skills, but also raising emotional maturity, heightening a child´s sense of security in the world."

Wickham´s books chronicle the life of Tina, a young girl plagued by circumstances to which typical children can relate – such as challenging friendships – set in a world of metaphysics. She hopes the story will inspire children to take control of their own lives.

"Of course, children most confront their own obstacles through life experience to acquire meaning in their life," Wickham notes. "However, there is no harm in providing children an ´edge´ early on to at least soften life´s blows down the road."

LITERARY PHENOMENON FROM THE US TAKES UK BOOK WORLD BY STORM

London, England June 2008

‘Summer of Magic Horses’ is the book that every child wants this summer

Children’s literature is on the move. A new reading craze from America is set to sweep the UK,

pushing Aslan back into the wardrobe and sending Harry Potter into detention.

Summer of Magic Horses – by the American children’s author – Kimberly Wickham is about to hit the UK market and is being tipped as a summer blockbuster in the 8-12 age group.

The book discusses a philosophy known as the ‘Law of Attraction’ which sets out ideas designed to bring people the things they want in their lives.

This life-style phenomenon has been championed by a number of leading business people and celebrities in the UK including Oprah Winfrey. Britney Spears is said to be using it to get her life back on the rails. In the UK Noel Edmonds has used the ‘law of attraction’ to improve his life – he has even written a book about his experiences.

However, Kimberly Wickham is the first author in the world to simplify the philosophies specifically for the children’s book market. Her work has already captured the imagination of 8-12 year olds on the other side of the Atlantic.

“As well as being engaging and fun to read, it teaches kids if they face life with a positive outlook, anything is possible,” says author Kimberly Wickham.

Summer of Magic Horses tells the story of a horse-mad young girl coming to terms with family illness and the importance of friendships in enhancing her own life experiences.

“The story teaches how making and maintaining friendships and exploring trust can be handled pro-actively by people of any age,” says Wickham.

Wickham studied quantum physics for two years as part of the research for the book. She also draws upon a 20 year teaching career which enables her to translate the complex ideas to children.

“It’s important to realize that these principles are centuries old. People such as Albert Einstein put them into practice with great success. Today’s teachers and philosophers are building on that, making it understandable to the general public.” says Wickham.

The main character also discovers how the connection between humans and animals can be used to learn about trust and friendship as she explores her own boundaries.

“Every ‘Tween’ will be able to relate to the story, maybe be even benefit from it. Its got a real summery vibe about it”

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