Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Shine" by Justine Edward

by Justine Edward
and illustrated by Karl Gabriel

Written by Justine Edward and illustrated by seven-year-old Karl Gabriel, Shine is the perfect gift idea for someone special in your life.
The author states: "Karl has Autism Spectrum Disorder but he is not defined by it. For the last seven years I have shared in Karl and his family's journey with Autism. This experience compelled me to write Shine. Shine is a children's picture book filled with positive affirmations. Each verse is complimented by one of Karl's colorful illustrations which encourage every reader to reach for their dreams. The message of Shine is: believe in yourself and anything is possible."
Purchase a paperback copy of Shine and enter the giveaway on the author's website for your chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite.

A heart-warming picture book which encourages every child to believe in themselves and reach for their dreams.
Shine was inspired by and illustrated by seven-year-old Karl Gabriel. Karl was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was three years old. His drawings are full of love and light and will engage the youngest of readers.
Each illustration is accompanied by a positive affirmation which begins with the words, "There is a light within you," a simple yet powerful message which is repeated throughout the book.
Shine is a terrific resource for parents, teachers and children alike.

There is a light within you
Believe it with all of your heart
And when people don’t understand you
Remember it sets you apart

There is a light within you
It makes you truly unique
When you smile it shines from within
Bringing joy to all whom you meet

There is a light within you
Amazing things you will do
If you trust the light from within
And let it always guide you


By Lynda Dickson
Shine is full of inspirational affirmations of everyone's ability to shine in their own unique way. It provides positive messages reminding us that we are all special.
Justine's poetic words are sincere but a bit difficult for young readers. This is a book best read by parents to their children. It also provides a great starting point to talk to children about their differences.
Illustrated by Karl Gabriel (the seven-year-old son of the author's best friend) who is autistic, the drawings are simple and heartfelt. You can tell they were drawn to illustrate the words, which brings to mind the poignant image of a mother reading to her autistic son.
I read the ebook version and was disappointed to find that it doesn't contain any information about the author or illustrator (which is included in the paperback version). I also think the author has wasted a valuable opportunity by not including a forward or end-note explaining the idea behind the book or including any links to her own website or sites about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

About the Author
Justine Edward is a mother, educator, and author based in Australia. She describes her home as the land of eternal sunshine. Justine has been educating children for over a decade and has a passion for writing books which inspire children to reach their full potential. Beaches, baking and books are some of her favorite things.
Shine is Justine's first children's book. She is already working on other children's books which she hopes to release in 2014 and 2015.

About the Illustrator
Karl Gabriel, the seven-year-old son of the author's best friend, is the illustrator. Diagnosed with ASD at age three, his beautiful crayon drawings breathe life into the central message of the book: "You can overcome whatever is going on around you if you believe in the light that lives within you."
Find out more about Karl on the author's website.