Spectra is a clever girl, with a brilliant mind, a colorful life, and an artistic eye. Her adventures in art-making with seeds and mud open up a world of imagination, but Spectra's not quite satisfied with the outcome. Her friends who can't help, her wishes that don't come true, and storms that threaten the whole thing all lead to unforeseen surprises, and an unexpected solution.
Written by Leslie Allyn and Dave Surratt, Illustrated by Leslie Allyn. 50 pages, Hardbound. Full Color. Published by BookLocker 12/25/2020.
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6/20/21 - Robyn Chandler, DVM, Buckinghamshire, UK
Jude loved the colours and artwork, and Elliott mostly wants to eat it. But what a work of art.
12/25/21 - Flame Bilyue
A wonderfully illustrated story of a young budding artist gathering friends and looking for the perfect ingredient for her perfect painting. The colors and characters are enchanting. This is not only an artistic accomplishment and entertaining story. It has layers of metaphors and uplifting spiritual messages that teach us to allow our journey to unfold even through hardship to find the treasure in the experience and the fruits of our efforts. Share this with friends who are children and adult friends who could use a reminder to trust the process when we follow our passion.
4/5/21 - Diana B.
Spectra is gorgeous, fun, and thought-provoking. I read it twice, and different things struck me more strongly each time. It portrays the struggle to succeed at creative endeavors, and the paths one might take in pursuit of this goal. At first read, I was expecting Spectra’s quest, where she needs to find the missing element to make her paintings come alive, to be like other kids’ books — go to this animal and get this piece, the next animal, the next piece, and so on. Cooperation, sharing. I was startled to see that no one wanted to help or share! Spectra does succeed in the end, but in an organic way that comes from her hard work combined with the right attitude and environmental conditions. The second read let me see that Spectra progressed in her interactions: first was, “you should give me some,” next was “will you give,” and last was, “may I please borrow?” Hilarious sight gags of her sidekick ladybug trying to scoop up the swag for her, stand on its head when Spectra does, getting all fancy with its wings when they go to the pretty butterfly. Her roof is an old vanity license plate with the beginning of the mnemonic for the rainbow colors, ROYGBIV, another sly reference for a girl who embodies all the colors of the rainbow. Spectra is brave when the storm comes and grabs her art, her most valued possession, as she flees to safer ground. She meets a “monster” who is tame and listens to her tale of struggling to find what is missing in her art, and after pouring it all out, she sleeps and awakens to a new reality. There is a lot to this book, making me realize that kids’ books really can be like poems — lots of stuff packed into a tiny space. Some kid-fun language, “Stomp it! Stamp it! Stir it up good!”, beautiful art that intertwines effortlessly with the text, and lots of opportunities for parents who might want to talk with their kids about the different things going on.
Absolutely love this book. The story, the illustrations, even the construction of the book is exquisite. A total work of art to be enjoyed by all for years to come.
3/1/21 - M. Bush
This is a really fun, charming book with gorgeous illustrations. Definitely good for anyone with any kind of creative leanings.
2/27/21 Tamara N.
Our whole family was captivated by the beautiful illustrations. As gardeners, painters, and lovers of unusual critters, we enjoyed every moment of Spectra's adventure. While my daughter is a teen, she still enjoyed the story (she actually put her iPhone down to read it cover to cover) and is excited to now give a copy to her 6 year-old cousin.
2/13/21 - S. Bueltmann
A very beautifully illustrated story of a little artist and her friends in pursuit of the perfect painting. The colors and details are extraordinary. An artistic accomplishment.
12/24/21 - Mellie
An instant classic! Our friends' 3-year-old who just started reading tore into this on first sight. It is so beautiful inside and out. Themes of nature and beauty and the artistic process are delivered through the most adorable and relatable little sprite. A crafty message of discovery and kindness for children of every age. Thanks to the creators for sharing so much heart.
8/4/21 - C. Ford
This magical and beautifully illustrated book for children of all ages is not only inspiring, but speaks a truth about trusting the artistic process, about miracles, and about the potential for growth that we all possess. l loved it! It would make a lovely gift for any young human.🌟
3/23/21 - R. Whiter
What a gorgeous and beautifully illustrated book! I love the story of Spectra's adventures and the unexpected little surprise that children will love searching for within Spectra's pages! I look forward to Spectra's next adventure!
3/2/21 Rachel LeRoy
Spectra is a gorgeously illustrated story. It is an art book, for children, but it has such depth that it’s equally enjoyed by adults – think Pixar films. It is brilliant and beautiful! I’ve read Spectra (multiple times) and it sticks with me, I think about it when I’m not in the same room as Spectra, and I want to share it with every person I know. Great for a coffee table book!
2/23/21 Kristin V.
This little book is a delight! There is so much to love about it-the beautiful artwork, the engaging story, and spunky Spectra herself. It is both a keepsake and an everyday treasure for our family.
3/17/21 L. Payne
Yesterday I received my autographed copy of “Spectra,” a collaborative effort of two of my former students, Leslie Allyn and David Surratt. My teacher friends will understand when I say that our students are “our kids,” no matter how much time has passed since they sat in our classrooms. We celebrate their triumphs and sorrows in a personal way.
From my point of view, Spectra is a cup-sized garden sprite who transforms the detritus around her: a discarded math paper becomes her airplane and a bent Virginia license plate serves a snug, little roof. However, her portraits of mud and seeds pose a challenge. Something is definitely missing. The journey to complete her masterpieces takes her to a place both magical and divine.
I read it this morning via video chat with my four grandchildren (ages 4 - 9). They were mesmerized by Spectra’s cascade of colors; they found her ladybug friend on (almost) every page. Even the youngest grasped the secrets revealed.
We give “Spectra” two thumbs up!
2/15/21 - L. Henry
Enchanting illustrations and a one of kind story. Perfect for a child's budding creativity or for inspiring older friends.
I have been anticipating the release of this book for a while, and it does not disappoint! A sophisticated and multi-layered book, full of whimsy and color, with wonderful illustrations and engaging, clever writing. It is a rare book that would appeal to children and adults alike, and the one you could reach for over and over, and find new details and hints in the text and illustrations. My children ages 3, 10 and 12 all enjoyed it, and so did I. A real gem of a book, and a real piece of art as well. Definitely worth the money.