3 out of 4 stars
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Do you ever dream of a perpetually sunny land of carousels and rollercoasters where all treats and toys are free and everyone’s a friend? Do you wish to host fanciful tea parties where the guests wear magic glasses and are partial to lemon-chocolate cookies? Emilia Rose and the rainbow adventure is a unique children’s book by Dr. Debra Ford, Msc.D, and it is the first book in The adventures of Emilia Rose and the LiaBots series. With these kid-centric tales, Ford seeks to create spiritual stories for children that are based on Connection, Balance, and Flow – the three key principles of the Tao (pronounced Dow).
Each night in her dreams, little Emilia Rose transforms into “a mystic with magical powers” and travels to an imaginary place called LiaLand. She frolics joyfully amidst a group of 8 representational LiaBots. Each one of these entities has been assigned a unique name that corresponds with whichever one of the 8 trigrams (building blocks of nature) it is meant to represent. For example, Glow is red and represents fire, while Puff is purple and moves like the wind. The LiaBots resemble miniature penguins, and the 4 females come accessorized with tiny bows.
The LiaBots help the girl solve mysteries, and they possess the ability to hover and fly. When Emilia Rose seeks to discover the origin of rainbows, off they go like busy bees on a mission. During their quest, they must travel through ‘NOLand,’ a dreadful place of early bedtimes and grumpy grown-ups. They also infiltrate a flock of geese and a gossipy group of birds before finally discovering the emanation point of colored arcs.
This 45-page story features 19 full-page watercolor illustrations, and I greatly enjoyed the radiant conclusion to the tale. I did encounter several typographical errors and instances of missing punctuation, but other than the grammatical issues, there was nothing I disliked about the story itself. While the author wrote this tale especially for her granddaughter, she urges parents and guardians to consider substituting their own child’s name into the story, so that an even greater sense of personalization may be achieved. Kids will likely giggle at the word “brouhaha” and find the idea of 'wrinkly' adults comical. For the adult readers, the book concludes with an informational appendix that explains more about the Tao and each of the associated trigrams.
As a spiritual philosophy teacher, Ford strongly endorses spiritual mysticism and spiritual balance. For readers who are hesitant to embrace the idea of yin-yang and metaphysical sorts of teachings (as they relate to life’s ultimate journey), I would not recommend this one. However, I feel this title makes an excellent junior companion to one of Ford’s earlier books: Daily Pulse, rhythm of the Tao.
Due simply to the number of minor typos, I award the current version of this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. If the errors were corrected and addressed, I’d gladly award all four stars. Themes of teamwork, bravery, perseverance, and curiosity are woven throughout, and the content is appropriate for toddlers and beyond. This book would be great for intuitive learners; especially those who love to inject a little bit of fantasy and magic into their imaginative meanderings!
Emilia Rose and the rainbow adventure
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