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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Unstoppable Zee, written by Reesa Shayne and illustrated by Juanita Taylor, is a children's picture book that follows a little girl named Zee and is narrated in her first-person voice. Zee introduces herself and the 'superpowers' she has, according to her mother. In a series of affirmations that embody Zee's strengths and foster positive thinking and self-empowerment, Zee is depicted exercising the very best of her capabilities, including gardening, art, music, and fine motor skills through building blocks, running, and other things she excels in. The story is brought to life with colorful and realistic freehand spread illustrations where we can see Zee in action with beauty and clarity.
Reesa Shayne has done an excellent job creating a story that is easy to engage with and has all the right components to keep a young reader turning the pages. The blending of imagination and small but real actions that can build a child up is matched only by some of the finer points of this story. There were a couple of standouts that genuinely made my heart flutter and set this book apart from other similar tales. The first is that Zee is part of a family of color, which was a welcome diversity in my home, where children in books are less likely to look like my own daughter. The second is that, while baking, Zee's father is in the kitchen and not her mother. Zee goes through her list of affirmations, but Shayne also inserts subtle micro-affirmations, enhanced by Juanita Taylor's exceptional artwork. Together, Shayne and Taylor are a dream team, and as a family, we look forward to what comes next from the pair.