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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
One More Year by Allison Ione Ballenger, with illustrations by Carlos Velez Aguilera, is a children's picture book that takes a reader through the imagination of two young siblings as a brother tells his little sister what she may experience on the birthdays that follow her second, the entry point of this colorful story. The fantasy within Ballenger's text is brought to life with Aguilera's exceptional artwork as the promise of dragons and mermaids and unicorns springs from the page in a message of hope and optimism. Creativity and imagination reign supreme in pages that bridge the gap between the possibilities that arise from them and the process of having to let some things go in order to allow new and equally exciting things the opportunity to come in, which provides a platform for additional themes of patience and the value of experiences.
Oh my goodness...what a book One More Year is! Diversity in full color and fantasy galore, there is no question in my mind that Allison Ione Ballenger and Carlos Velez Aguilera form the perfect team in the field of children's literature. The narrative is presented in a rhythmic and lyrical format and sing-song prose such as, “Every year gets better, every birthday brings more fun. Think of all that lies ahead—you’ve only just begun!” I loved the illustration where brother and sister are shown splashing each other in the water playfully following a shared escapade with royal fairies, and then a piece showing the young sister crying on the sofa in disappointment as her brother lifts her spirits with all she still has to look forward to in her life. This is an exceptional book that I would give a whole bucket of stars to if I could. Very highly recommended.