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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sparkle is a little girl whose real name is Sarah. She blossoms with light and color and loves the natural world around her. One rainy day, she's feeling sad. When her mother, Alice, asks her why, Sparkle talks about being hue-man, a child of many hues (colors). She explains that everyone is and can be a color and it makes the world a more beautiful place. Her mother tells her the story of a fairy, Kachina, who, like Sparkle, loved the natural world around her. She took care of nature and was rewarded with nature's bountiful colors and, yes, sparkles. She gifts a beautiful white rose to a sick woman which helps the woman blossom into the beautiful person she was meant to be. In return, the woman realizes that she must take care of her garden in a special way and be grateful for all its beauty and color.
Humans were created to be caretakers of the world. Somewhere down the line, many humans have lost sight of this purpose and these humans have lost their color. Ayn Cates Sullivan's colorfully illustrated children's book, Sparkle and the Gift, serves to remind all of us, young and old, of our divine purpose in protecting nature, in taking care of our world. The story is written like a fable which, like all fables, has the purpose of teaching the reader valuable lessons. Using metaphors of color and light, the author develops a charming story about careful guardianship, the result being a well-kept, colorful, beautiful garden. A wonderful story.