When my coworker Selena told me about Springboard Press' appeal for advance reviewers of The Shiniest Jewel, I jumped at the chance. It was touted as a book about adopting a baby at age 50, a subject that I am growing more and more interested in. One look at the cover illustration and my heartstrings were officially tugged.
Springboard quickly sent me a copy of the book and I eagerly sat down to read it at naptime last weekend. For whatever reason, it hadn't occurred to me that the book by the creator of the "Maxine" cartoons wouldn't be all texty. But it still nearly knocked me down when I opened it and found the story was told in cartoon form.
You might think that using cartoons would make the story more shallow, but you'd be wrong. Henley manages to pack a thousand words and some powerful emotions into each comic strip.
The Shiniest Jewel is entertaining, engrossing, and enlightening all at once, showing readers what happens when a single woman decides to travel to Russia to adopt a child--and resolves quite a few other relationships along the way.
I finished the book in one sitting, but I've gone back to reread parts of it since. My mom wants to read it next but I'm not ready to let it go yet.