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Reviewed by Samantha Coville for Readers' Favorite
Elee is an adorable baby elephant living on the African plains with her mother. The dry season is causing the slow disappearance of the watering hole, which is crucial to the survival of the plains animals. But Elee's mother assures her that if she follows the giant, bright star in the sky for seven days and seven nights, she'll get to the watering hole that never dries up. This sparks a long journey for baby Elee. And along the way she'll meet a variety of African animals, such as a lion, a hippo, a zebra, and more. Will they reach the watering hole before it's too late? You'll have to read Elee and the Shining Star to find out!
Sylvia M. Medina has done an absolutely fantastic job with this picture book. We don't learn much about individual animals, but we do learn a lot about the importance of watering holes and how a drought can affect the wildlife. It also has elements of friendship, family, bravery, and believing in an idea to the point where you take risks. But where Elee and the Shining Star really shines (pun intended) is in the artwork. Illustrator Morgan Spicer has true talent. The purple and blue hues of the book are enchanting and calming. Elee's eyes are filled with emotion and personality. And there is movement and action in these images. Even if you are not entranced by the story itself, it's still worth picking up this picture book just to enjoy the illustrations. I myself would love an Elee print for my wall, if I am honest. I think this author and illustrator duo make an incredible team and I'll be first in line for whatever book they come out with next!