Book Review: NEARLY INVISIBLE, by Kathleen Leyba-- A Journey Through History and Heroism for Kids
Kathleen Leyba's "Nearly Invisible" is a tender, contemplative piece that weaves the tapestry of resilience, courage, and altruism displayed during a pivotal moment in our collective history. Written with lyrical prose poetry, this children’s book gently nudges readers of all ages towards a reflection of the trying times that enveloped the world in the storm of the 2020 pandemic.
What stands out in this ethereal exploration is Leyba's ability to make the invisible visible, giving form and substance to an enemy that can only be perceived through the lens of a microscope. Her words breathe life into the stories of our heroes —healthcare workers— who, shrouded in protective gear, become beacons of hope in a sea of uncertainty and fear.
Each stanza in "Nearly Invisible" is meticulously crafted, weaving a narrative that’s both accessible to children and profoundly resonant with adults. The vulnerability and strength of healthcare workers are depicted not just as a historical fact but as a timeless, universal tale of heroism that crosses boundaries and epochs.
The illustrations in this book by C.S. Fritz are nothing short of magnificent. They capture the paradox of the invisible enemy, symbolizing the microscopic virus with tangible emotions of fear, and concurrently, defiance. Through vivid colors and expressive characters, the images and story reveals the undeterred spirit of humanity that glows ever so brightly even in the darkest hours. A particular commendation for the book's ability to present the healthcare workers in their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) as both formidable and gentle, a reflection of their relentless fight and their intrinsic human empathy.
While "Nearly Invisible" is rooted in recent history, it takes readers on a journey far beyond a specific time or event, pondering on the universal themes of bravery, sacrifice, and compassion. The healthcare workers’ fight becomes a lens through which we view the timeless battle between humanity and threats to its existence, underscoring an unwavering spirit that does not bend even amidst colossal adversities.
The book manages to tread the delicate line of discussing a global catastrophe in a manner that is digestible and considerate to its younger audience. Through metaphors, allegories, and soft, gentle prose, Leyba narrates a story that is potentially harrowing but transforms it into a tale of hope, unity, and homage to our heroes.
In "Nearly Invisible", Kathleen Leyba has given us not merely a story, but a vessel through which we can explore, appreciate, and transmit the invaluable lessons and memories of a turbulent time to the young minds. A heartwarming, transcendent tale, it invites us to remember, honor, and most importantly, to hope.
With its thoughtful prose, enchanting illustrations, and heartfelt homage to the heroes of our time, "Nearly Invisible" becomes an imperative read, a keeper of history and emotions for generations to navigate through, understand, and find light within.