Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dragonfly Secret by Clea and John Adams

The Dragonfly Secret is a book that begins with a new friendship between a young boy and a dragonfly named Lea. The boy asks for help, and if she agrees, Lea will learn his secret. As Lea helps the little boy and two couples, the message of the book becomes clear. It touches upon loss and grief, but most importantly, love--love that endures forever.

I read this book with my eight-year-old daughter, and she was interested throughout. She understood that there was both sadness and happiness, but it took her a bit to fully understand the secret. The book brought tears to my eyes as I began to understand what the little boy's mother and father were going through and why it was so important that the dragonfly help him. I'm sure the book would offer some comfort to a child dealing with the loss of a parent, grandparent, or another person close to him or her.

The book was illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson, and the pictures are captivating. Each page is full of color and the beauty of nature. The dragonfly is not cartoonish but looks very real. On one page, the boy is lying in a field, and I could almost feel the soft grass and cool breeze, smell the flowers, and hear the creatures in the trees. The pictures help show the cycle of life and will definitely catch the eye of readers both young and old.

Though I read the book aloud to my daughter, she could have read it on her own. It's more advanced in terms of picture books, but I think the higher reading level helps adults take something from the story as well. The story was touching, and I was able to feel the parents' pain in a way children wouldn't understand.


Here's The Girl's take on the book in her own words (with me asking some questions to get a discussion going):

This book was about a dragonfly who had to give a message to a boy's mom and dad. The parents were sad because they couldn't see him anymore. I felt sad because his parents couldn't be with him, but I felt happy because the dragonfly helped the boy tell his parents he was fine. I liked the pictures because they were colorful. I liked that it took the dragonfly a lot of time to figure out the secret because it let me figure it out myself. My favorite characters were the boy and the dragonfly because they were friends.

The Dragonfly Secret is a companion book to The Dragonfly Door by John Adams. We haven't read that one, and you'd don't have to in order to read and understand The Dragonfly Secret.

Disclosure:  We received a free copy of The Dragonfly Secret from the authors and Feather Rock Books for review purposes.


Serena said...

Sounds like a good kids book. I'm glad the girl liked it.

Jeannie said...

Two great reviews! Thank you both.

April said...

Hi Anna! What a great blog! I loved this book, also. It brought tears to my eyes and I just think it is such a wonderful wonderful book! Beautiful pictures also.

Anonymous said...

I love that your daughter is helping with reviews, Anna. I think it is wonderful creative writing experience for her.

I've been known to cry over children's books, too. For some reason I always used to cry when reading The Three Trees. Not anymore though, thank goodness.

Darlene said...

I've read a few reviews of this book and they are all good. I'm glad your daughter liked it and I loved her review of how she felt about the book.

Ladytink_534 said...

Love the illustrations. I've seen several posts about this one.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ The Girl's opinion. :) Thanks for posting a couple of pictures. Barbara L. Gibson is awesome!

Anna said...

Serena: It was a great kid's book, especially for kids dealing with a loss.

Jeannie: Thanks so much!

April: Thanks a bunch! I loved the pictures as well!

Shana: She's have a blast! I'll keep doing it with her as long as she's having fun with it. The Giving Tree always makes me sad. I had tears in my eyes the first time I read that one. Never heard of The Three Trees.

Dar & J. Kaye: The Girl will be thrilled to know you both enjoyed her review!

J. Kaye: Aren't those pictures beautiful?

ladytink: The illustrations grabbed my attention right away. I've seen a bunch of reviews of this as well.

Wendi said...

I read that book too and put a review on my site as well. I liked it. I really liked your daughters included review!

:) Wendi

Anna said...

Hi, Wendi! This book sure is getting around! The Girl is so glad you enjoyed her review!