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Children's LiteratureKarly plays with her special friend, Natasha, pretending to "jump on clouds and walk on the moon." They bounce and roll and do most everything together. One afternoon, Karly's mother serves tea and cookies for Karly but not for Natasha, because her mother says she cannot see Natasha. Natasha is, in fact, invisible. When Karly asks Natasha why she is the only one who can see her, Natasha explains that she is a spirit, "the most important part of you." Natasha's role in life is to remind Karly who she is on the inside, a "beautiful, shiny spirit made of love and light." Karly promises to remember who she is and Natasha leaves. Gradually, as time passes, Karly eventually finds it harder and harder to get along at school. That's when Natasha appears once more to remind Karly who she is and to remember to "live inside out." To do that Karly turns her socks inside out. That way she'll always remember her spirit. The sweet story is matched with paintings that capture the light and the spirit of our inner lives. 2003, Illumination Arts Publishing Co, Ages 4 to 8.
—Valerie O. Patterson