Book Review: "The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey;"(Advanced Review Copy); Author: Pat Black-Gould; Illustrator: Katya Royz; Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press; Publication Date: June 14, 2022.
Before I spill the contents of my thoughts regarding this book, kindly note I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review of "The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey."
I am not sure where to begin... My emotions are deeply touched by this poignant story wherein a Jewish mother had no choice but to leave her young daughter at a Catholic church during the Holocaust in order to protect her. The mother's dialogue with her daughter was gentle, heart-wrenching and I instantly knew this "game" she was trying to play with her daughter in order to lessen the blow of their imminent separation was setting me up for tears that would eventually silently spill from the corners of my eyes. It is so very clear the mother-daughter separation was a bittersweet moment for them both.
I think a deeply powerful scene that poked holes in my heart was when little Lalka was kneeling on the ground and praying with her beads, clutching them to her as if they were a lifeline to protect her from her harrowing experience with the Nazis. It is deeply disturbing to see what hate can do to another human being, instilling such anguish that it becomes pain personified, a palpable thing. Empathy for others and resilience against the face of someone wishing to do you arm with their hate is taught here with a gentle, yet matter-of-fact hand, by the author.
The illustrations within the book are a wonder to behold. The colors are muted and soft, pillow-like in their application as are the drawings and yet they are powerful at that same time. Skill and a deep understanding of the sensitive subject is conveyed here in superb balance. The expressions of the characters reflect a wealth of emotions that are brimming with heartfelt sentiment. Overall, the illustrations and the writing perfectly support one another in their respective parts in conveying the story's message quite beautifully. There is a certain kind of soft elegance within the book that speaks volumes and brings its point across without any harshness in its delivery. The author brilliantly ends the story with a question from Lalka that is heavy with wisdom, leaving room for other discussions to ensue with children and/or adults long after the book is closed.
This book is an instant, timeless classic that would appeal to young and adult readers alike. Kindly note this book is available for purchase on June 14, 2022 on a plethora of platforms. I highly recommend this book for it's educational purpose and for the overall story that will steal your heart and run away with it.
You can find out more about the author, Pat Black-Gould, by visiting her delightful web page at:
Home - Pat Black-Gould (patblackgould.com)
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Book Reviewed: "The Crystal Beads, Lalka's Journey;" (Advanced Review Copy); Author: Pat Black-Gould; Illustrator: Katya Royz; Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press; Publication Date: June 14, 2022.
Book Blog Copyright (C) 2022 Mary-Lisa Russo
You have stumbled into the writing world of Mary-Lisa Russo, an avid storyteller observing the universe around her and her humble place amongst the stars. “Excerpts From The Wandering Mind” is Mary-Lisa’s first collection of poems and she is currently working on her next book to be released in 2022. She recently created an e-book, namely, "Voices From the Universe," for her subscribers which is available for download via BookFunnel. She is a university graduate having majored in English Literature and continues to nurture her ongoing writing education at a local college. She is a member of the Ontario Poetry Society and various writers’ groups.