Rise and Shine: Fire Child
by Veronica Red
Xlibris AU

"Showing the world what I have proudly learned and so truly love."

With the use of resplendent colors from the opening pages, the illustrations by Raquel Rodriguez represent hope and the opportunity to explore one’s passion and nature. For children, the energy and optimism that flows through Red’s writing are infectious. Whether it’s pursuing one’s creativity in music or dance or performing on stage in front of an audience, the collaborators of this work help younger audiences overcome initial fears and move forward boldly in the direction of their aspirations and interests.

Collectively, the illustrations and prose are strong complements. The radiance from the images meshes well with the vivid imagery that the author portrays with phrases such as “rays of the sun” and similes including “like a key unlocking my very own blueprint.” As a whole, the prose caters well to middle and upper elementary aged students who are beginning to develop their vocabulary. “Enhancing," “enclosed," and “coaxing” are just a few of the words that children will learn and be able to reuse in their daily language.

Interestingly, on each page of prose, a bird soars in the background, seemingly representative of the freedom with which audiences should not just explore their passions but also live their lives. Moreover, there is an almost magical quality added to the vivacity of the human spirit depicted in the story. The hope, it seems, is that when this quality translates from the story to an individual’s real life, the freedom to be creative and limitless will inject the same sort of magic into their reality. The concept behind Red and Rodriguez’s work is unique and certainly holds the power to push younger audiences past fear, both testing and embracing the limits of the mind’s creativity.

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