Maria And The Magic Of The Rainbow

Children - Fable
124 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2017
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Author Biography

In the early eighties, as an advocate of equestrian and youth sports, Suzanna conceived and then became the co-founder of Show Park of San Diego/ Del Mar Horse Park. There began her over 20 years of being involved with philanthropic organizations benefiting children.
Upon moving to the Los Angeles area in the late eighties, she became a member of The Nine O’Clock Players Theatre for Children, a service of Assistance League of Los Angeles that has provided musical productions of classical children’s literature since 1929.
There she met Edward A. Landry, Trustee of the Walter Lantz Foundation, and Maurice Stein, Academy Award-winning makeup artist and founder of Cinema Secrets. Her long association with both allowed her to create special magic in the children’s theater and its productions through their generous contributions.
As a victim of bullying during her youth, Suzanna’s great hope growing up was to one day do something so other children wouldn’t have to suffer as she had. It was her work in the theater that led her to write MARIA AND THE MAGIC OF THE RAINBOW, a script for a musical about discrimination, bullying, friendship, and forgiveness that celebrates our differences and embraces the belief that each of us is unique and special in the scheme of humanity.
After Columbine and subsequent tragedies resulting from bullying, Suzanna decided to convert MARIA AND THE MAGIC OF THE RAINBOW into a book, along with fun, creative and inspiring classroom activities that support the book's messages.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow by Suzanna L Royse is an inspiring and beautiful story with manifold lessons for both young and adult readers. Maria is a pre-teen butterfly who is accidentally blown away as she hurries to warn her parents of an impending storm. She is captured and made to slave under a cruel and unforgiving fire ant, El Jefe. She is forced to sing and do things she’s never dreamt about doing in her short life span.

The reader won’t miss the commands of El Jefe, reminding her of where she belongs: “The most important thing you need to learn is that your place is here—to sing and clean! Don’t forget how lucky you are. I’m the one who rescued you—you the orphan with only one wing.” But Maria escapes and makes a wonderful adventure that will bring both joy and pain to her heart as she discovers the beauty of friendship and the tragedy of loss.

Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow is a well-crafted story that brilliantly showcases the themes of self-confidence, freedom, bullying, family, and the wonderful sense of tolerance that assures inner freedom. Maria is a character that many young readers will relate to—I was able to connect with her as well as did my twelve-year-old granddaughter. The writing is poetic and evocative and it features great poetry in the form of Maria’s songs. For instance, the soul and spirit of youthfulness is captured in the following lines:

“Every day I keep asking why,
Like why the river runs and clouds play in the sky.
So many things to learn and know,
But what can I do? Where can I go?
Who’s out there?
Who can teach me to do
Everything I need to learn
To make my dreams come true?”

The illustrations are very telling and entertaining in themselves. It will be impossible for young readers not to identify with Maria’s curiosity, her problem with bullies, and her desire to be able to experience real freedom. This is also a story about friendship and forgiveness, a story with values that kids need to learn. Suzanna L Royse’s work will encourage, inspire, educate, and remain engraved in the hearts of young readers long after they have read them.

Kristen Van Kampen

Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow by Suzanna L. Royse is a stunning and inspiring children's book about a young butterfly named Maria. After she loses a wing in a storm, Maria, unable to fly, is taken hostage by an evil fire ant named El Jefe. He forces her to sing and clean for him. With the help of her friends, she escapes, but the way to freedom isn't easy, and she is followed by many of El Jefe's rebels. When she is finally free, she makes a few friends, but is bullied by a wasp named Stinger, who makes fun of her and her friends because they are different. Will Maria ever get Stinger to stop being mean?

I really enjoyed reading Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow by Suzanna L. Royse. The book is very well written and descriptive. The book also teaches forgiveness and hope. The characters are all very likeable, especially Maria, because she is optimistic, kind, and brave, and willing to forgive others, no matter what they do. I was hooked by the first page and I did not want to put the book down. The book is full of action and suspense, and is very heartwarming and inspiring. I liked how all of the songs in the book rhyme. The illustrations, by Keith Klein, are very well drawn and depict each scene vividly. I liked how the book has many diverse characters with different accents, abilities and disabilities. The story is very exciting, and has some funny parts. I would recommend this book to young readers.

Barbara Fanson

Author Suzanna Royse sets the scene on the first page of Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow and continues to keep us entertained and amused throughout the book. Readers will fall in love with Maria the butterfly, who lost a wing and her parents in a powerful storm. Because Maria is homeless and unable to fly, El Jefe the fire ant took her in, but in exchange, she becomes a servant at his cantina. Readers will feel empathy for Maria because she works for a cruel and short-tempered boss, El Jefe, who constantly reminds her that she was a one-winged orphan when he found her. Maria the butterfly dreams of freedom. She’s also curious with lots of questions and she longs to explore. Author Suzanna Royse cleverly weaves poetry into the story by way of song. Maria and her moth friends are excellent singers. The book is a real page-turner that grips the reader from the start. Suzanna Royse creates a wonderful plan with sneezing fuzzies to help Maria escape. Will she make it safely over the river before El Jefe realizes she’s missing?

Illustrator Keith Klein provides imaginative drawings of the main characters right at the start of Maria and the Magic of the Rainbow. He is very imaginative and the drawings are well done. Even the gray scale images throughout the book are very well executed and accurately demonstrate the story. Children and adults will love this wonderful, inspiring story of determination, bullying, and teamwork. It’s nice to see a book with a female hero who overcomes a tragedy and several obstacles to reach her goal. Will Maria get past all the challenges between her and her freedom? I encourage you to read the book to find out!


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