Reviewed by Tracee Gleichner
Having two small girls at home, I am always looking for something new to read to them. They are at the age where princesses and fairy tales are their favorite thing, and if I am honest, I am also a sucker for a good fairy tale as well. I am happy to say that Jack Gorfien has introduced a new book to our family that will remain on our bookshelves and be read for many years to come.
Lirona is the type of princess any girl would hope to be - "She had purple eyes, soft porcelain colored skin, and long hair made of spun platinum that felt like silk." She also was blessed with the multicolored wings of a dragonfly that she could sprout at will. Although she loved her wings, as a child she was ridiculed because of them and now feels very along and afraid, in search of something that will make her happy and feel whole.
Lirona continues looking every day for the thing she is unable to put her finger on - the missing part of her life. One day she crosses the path of some elves who enjoyed nothing more than dancing and playing music all through the night. After being invited to join them she totally immerses herself in the beat of the music and begins to dance along with her new friends. She promises to come back, and on one such visit encounters a knight named Zohar that has emerged from the woods. After a lifetime of battle he too is searching for something, his way home.
As much as he wanted to find his way home, he can't help but become enchanted not only with the music and atmosphere, by by the beautiful Lirona. They dance with each other through the night, but as daylight approaches they part ways, still searching for the things they are missing.
In the background of the story is Adamina, someone who is a teacher and guardian...a mother earth of sorts. She decides it's time to step in and help these two along the path they are destined to follow.
This is not just a story for children, but adults as well as it show us once again that happiness is right in front of us everyday, you just have to look for it. This is a wonderfully uplifting tale and is beautifully illustrated by Grace Turman.
Questions for the Author:
Do you have any other books in the works?
I am working on a follow up story to Dancing with Dragonflies where the characters will be further developed and new characters introduced.
What made you write a book with dragonflies as part of the theme?
I've always been captivated by these fascinating creatures. Also, they hold some interesting symbolism that spans many cultures. I've pointed some of them out in the introduction to the book.
Do you only write YA or children's books?
Dancing with Dragonflies is my first published book. While it is packaged as a children's book, the messages apply to people of all ages. I also write poetry geared towards adult readers but I have yet to publish these. As a writer, I enjoy crossing genres even though that tends not to be what the large publishing houses are looking for.
What other hobbies do you have besides writing?
Photography has always been a favorite past time of mine. I also collect antique photographic equipment. Beyond that, I enjoy travel and hiking in the woods.
As an added bonus, an autographed copy of Dancing with Dragonflies is to be raffled off to a reader. Enter by signing the guestbook at www.uponfurtherreview.org . To view other comments you just need to click on the View Guestbook tab.
The drawing will be held the first week in February. The winner will be announced on the website under Raffle Winners, and on the discussion group at Shelfari....Continua