Book Review: My Feelings are a Hurricane
Updated: May 3
Welcome back to Star Ship Reviews where our goal is to bring attention to some wonderful independent authors and publishers. For this week's entry, we'll be looking at My Feelings are a Hurricane; Written by Anabelle Wallick and Illustrated by Martina Straniero.
Anabelle Wallick is an elementary school student. She has always had a love of reading, writing, and drawing. One day after feeling particularly upset, she went to her room to draw her feelings. When she came out, she had drawn a picture of a hurricane filled with different facial expressions. This inspired her to turn her drawing into a book. She hopes that this story will help other children feel not so alone when they lose control of their emotions, as well as give them skills to be able to calm their body. Anabelle loves all things ice cream, rainbows, glitter, and unicorns. She lives in South Florida with her parents, two younger siblings, two dogs, and two cats.
Martina Straniero is an Italian architect and children's book illustrator currently living in Texas with her husband and her two little girls. She has always loved drawing and her dream of becoming an illustrator has finally come true. My Feelings are a Hurricane is Martina's second children's book as an illustrator.
"Have you ever lost control of your emotions? Sometimes it can feel like difficult emotions happening all at once are too hard to deal with. They swirl and clash together making you feel powerless to the feelings."
I had a lot of fun reading My Feelings are a Hurricane! The story tackles an idea that so many children will be able to relate to because we've all felt overwhelmed by our emotions at one point or another.
The story is told from Anabelle's perspective through a clever rhyming scheme that keeps the reader very engaged throughout. Initially, we're presented with a number of scenarios that could quite easily stir up a "Hurricane" of emotions for any child. But in the second half, we learn about some different techniques that can help us work through these feelings and put them at ease. Overall the book delivers a very strong message about understanding our feelings and I hope that it's able to help someone with their own hurricane of emotions.
The illustrations by Martina are extremely effective in conveying the character's emotional states, from the color palette to the overall stylistic choices. The typography is another really interesting aspect of the book as it truly matches the mood of every page, especially when it quite literally 'swirls' within the hurricane. Overall, the illustrations are a perfect match for the story being told and they're sure to leave a lasting impression.
The Mini Interview:
To wrap things up, we've asked Krystal to answer three quick questions for us!
What was your inspiration for the story?
My inspiration for this story was actually my daughter. We cowrote this book together and the idea was completely hers. She struggled with anxiety and anger at the beginning of the pandemic. I was pregnant when the pandemic started and then I lost my job, on top of her school going virtual- she was only in Kindergarten. It was a lot of change for one little person to go through. One day she had a really epic meltdown and I told her to go to her room and draw out her feelings. She came out with a picture of a hurricane with faces swirling inside it and explained the whole concept of different emotions happening at the same time and how it feels like an uncontrollable hurricane fighting inside her. At the time, I was also writing a children's book and she decided that she wanted to turn her picture into a story. I thought the idea was wonderful and completely supported her publishing the story.
What was your favorite book growing up?
My favorite book growing up was anything written by Danielle Steele. My mom always read chapter books to me and we would sit together and read side by side. I was reading Danielle Steele and James Patterson in elementary school haha. As for picture books, my favorite author was Eric Carle and I remember reading him to my younger brother and now to my own kids.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring children’s authors?
Advice I would give is to write without fear. I have talked to so many people who have said things like wow it's so cool that you wrote a book, I've always wanted to do that. But for some reason, people don't. For me, it was fear.... fear of literally everything- judgment, failure, success even. But recently, watching my own kids grow up and have dreams and ideas of their own, it inspired me to want to push forward for them and show them that you can do anything you set your mind to. My daughter hasn't learned that fear quite yet and I hope that by supporting her dreams of writing and publishing, that fear stays away a little longer and she learns to go after her dreams confidently. As adults, we can stuck in that fear and don't pursue what we want, so just go for it. Face the fear, write the book, and put it out there. You got this! :)
If you'd like to grab your own copy of the book, it can be purchased here:
You can also check out more from Rainbow Wings Publishing here: