For Scared Children, Author Leeanne Brearley Creates New Picture Book Teaching Wisdom, Strength of Mind

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Leeanne Brearley uses canny, practical wisdom and “Harlow the Helpful Ghost”, who represents the angelic side of the unknown, to guide children in understanding the world.

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Children who are scared of the unknown will have Harlow the Helpful Ghost as guide. He is what author Leeanne Brearley has created as the unknown from the angelic side, the side children often fail to call upon, wrapped as they are in their fear of the great big world. In this book, Brearley guides them through the many domestic instances which terrify children, when the instinctive urge to explore the dark and dank still cannot overcome the terror conjured by innocent imagination.

There are three instances when Harlow comes out from the ether and gives Johnny three ways to combat his fears. They are what an imaginative child might come up with to adjust to the unknown, a more practical, less effortful way than building a world of his or her own to which he or she retreats in moments of stress. First, Harlow gives Johnny a cloak of invisibility to help out in his fear of the dark just before sleeping. The cloak would make him invisible so nothing or no one can see him while he sleeps. He dozes of soundly, cloak wrapped around him. Next, Harlow appears to him just after Mum had ordered him to shower. Afraid of the shower’s heat, and cold, its dreary wetness and the possibility of drowning, Johnny is immobilized by his fears until Harlow suggests that he bring in his Buzz Lightyear action figure. That a little toy action hero can endure a shower to get clean inspires Johnny to appreciate the need for a shower every day.

A boy only has courage insofar as he can control a situation, like playing with toy armies as Johnny does one afternoon. Hiding behind a tree with some of his toys, a spider suddenly drops on his arm. The hairy, creepy thing, to Johnny, is a cause for crying out in fear. But Harlow comes out again to explain the creatures of nature and a natural law in terms Johnny understands. The little, little spider is deathly afraid of Johnny who is a giant compared to him! Johnny is convinced, even to the point of having the beginning of conscience for nature’s lesser creatures. Harlow the Helpful Ghost is one of the canny children’s books, a way for children to learn the basics of domesticity, of nature, and of the world with easily understood, practical wisdom.    

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About the Author
Leeanne Brearley was born in New Zealand and has several years’ worth of experience working with children. With passion and interest in helping children’s needs and developments, she has dedicated her time to bring alive this book to help those with fears. The author lives in Auckland with Stewart and her son Cody.

Harlow the Helpful Ghost * by Leeanne Brearley
Afraid of the Dark
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Picture Book; NZ$44.99; 60 pages; 978-1-4797-3178-7
eBook; NZ$3.99; 978-1-4797-3179-4

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 0800-891-366. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (09) 353-1455 or call 0800-891-366.

For more information, contact Xlibris at 0800-891-366 or on the web at

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