Book Review of The Secret Life of Shadows
Sponsored* | All opinions are our own
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Johnny DePalma
Illustrated by Bao Luu
Ages 5-8 | 88 Pages
Publisher: Umbrelly Books Publishing (2023) | ISBN-13: 9781733405522
What to Expect: Self-expression, SEL, dance, change, and healing.
Dreamy and whimsical, The Secret Life of Shadows explores the power of imagination, self-expression, and wonder to heal the wounds that are an inescapable part of life.
Bethany Gale is not happy like she used to be—and for many good reasons. She misses her old home and her mother very much, and even though she likes the name of her new street—Middle Mist Lane—she still feels very much alone. Then, one night, something magical happens. With her furry companion Sadie leading the way, Bethany finds the secret place where the shadows dance, released from their tethering to their people when the sun goes down at the end of the day. Dancing with the shadows, Bethany remembers what it is like to feel joy and be surrounded by love. When morning comes, Bethany’s problems are not gone … but she is definitely happier.
Framed by third-person narration, the central part of the story is told in lilting rhyming verse, helping the reader feel the beat of the music described. Bao Luu’s magical illustrations sparkle with color and light, and the clever use of lines and space suggests vigorous movement to match the pace of the rhyming text. For readers who prefer to hear the music for themselves, the volume includes a link to a companion audiobook read by the Queen of Shadows herself, Christina Ricci.
The Secret Life of Shadows is a delightful fairy tale sure to raise the spirits and stir the imaginations of readers.
Buy the Book
About the Author
In 2006, Johnny DePalma founded Umbrella Books Publishing, where he continues to grow his personal vision of unique children’s literature. To date, Mr. DePalma has released seven books, created one popular, albeit bizarre holiday, and brought home first place from the Bay Area Olympiad of the Arts.
At the dawn of the pandemic, DePalma conceived and curated the Emergency Art Museum in his hometown of Campbell, CA. An endeavor that he hoped would bring art and inspiration to the forefront of his community.
In 2021, DePalma received gold medals from both the Independent Publisher Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards in the category of Best Children’s Picture Book (7 & under) & (Ages 4-8) for his book, ‘52 – A Tale of Loneliness.’
For more information, please visit umbrellybooks.com
About the Illustrator
Born and raised in Vietnam, Bao Luu currently lives in the United States, where, as a professional artist, he enjoys experimenting with color and texture in his illustrations. Luu’s unwavering dedication to the world of art was evident from a young age, drawing inspiration from the captivating realms of both manga and animation. Residing in Houston, Texas, Luu continues to draw inspiration for his art by observing the world around him. “The Secret Life of Shadows” is his 25th book.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This is a sponsored*, non-biased review of The Secret Life of Shadows. Learn more about getting a book review …