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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Day the Sky Went Away by Ellen Paton is a charming little tale about friendship, longing, and imagination. One day Huxley the bush baby wakes up to discover that the beautiful blue sky has disappeared. There are no clouds and sun during the day, and there are no stars and moon at night. He shares this particular concern with his friends Luella the hummingbird and Abel the fig tree. Huxley then writes a letter to the sky, stars, sun, and moon, asking them to come back because he misses them and that nothing is the same without them. Luella then delivers the letter high into the empty, white sky. While waiting for a response, Huxley comes up with a creative idea to make a likeness of the sky that he misses so much. Of course, it is not the same as the real sky, but the other creatures of the forest are there for him, and they will try to make it feel real for him. As for his letter, the news will travel through the forest and that will let Huxley know he is not alone in missing the sky.
This is a beautiful story that teaches children about love for nature, as well as the role of genuine friendship when you are feeling down and missing someone or something. Huxley’s friends provide him with that much-needed support group. If Ellen Paton’s objective in writing this story is to create helpful and hopeful books for children, then The Day the Sky Went Away certainly delivers. Of course, this review will not be complete without complimenting the beautiful watercolor artwork that Shayna Renee Olivier has provided. This gives the story warmth and allows its target readers to visually follow the tale as it unfolds in a great Australian outdoor setting, as well as its physically and facially expressive characters. Every school library and home with children should have a copy of this enchanting storybook.