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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are times when life can be scary and even painful and we just don’t know what to do. Aaa’Lee felt that way many times. Starting as a tiny seed, cast in the wind, spinning out of control, she called out to her Momma tree, claiming she didn’t know what to do. Momma responded, “Look within to help you find the answers.” Momma’s other words of wisdom also helped: “Remember to shine your light.” Every time something different and frightening happened, Aaa’Lee remembered her mother’s words. As she grew, she shone her light from deep within. When she felt broken and hurt, she learned to forgive. Breathing in and out, she was able to shine her light through all kinds of challenges. After all, that’s what life is about.
J.Y. Reinfeld’s picture book story, Tree of Light, is a gem. Following the tiny seed Aaa’Lee’s path through life, the young reader can easily relate to some of the challenges Aaa’Lee confronts. With beautiful illustrations, lots of onomatopoeia words, repeated key phrases to make a strong point, this story will both educate and entertain, as it helps young readers enhance their reading skills and learn how to cope in a positive way with anything that crosses their path. After all, it’s about that ever-powerful light that is within us all. At the end of the book, the author has provided a few story player activities, like finding the bees on every page. This is a beautiful story told with care and compassion. Tree of Light shines its own light from within.