Saturday, November 13, 2021

Review: Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings


by Deedee Cummings
Make A Way Media
Picture Book
24 pages
ages 4 to 8

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. The first in a six-part series, this diverse picture book shines the spotlight on a little brown girl who loves musical theater and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. Everyone else has an idea of who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

The story also reveals the special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom; a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 5 and up}

"Daughters learn their place in the world by watching their mothers claim theirs." ~author, Deedee Cummings



Lively and colorful illustrations bring imagination to life, allowing childhood fantasy to dance on the border of reality on every page.

Kayla is a little girl, who is greatly loved by her family, and loves her family back. Every day, her mother goes to work, and Kayla often doesn't see her again until late in the evening. But one day, her mother comes home early with a big surprise.

I'm just going to start with the illustrations because I do enjoy the illustrations in this book. They do a terrific job at depicting Kayla and the loving environment she lives in, while adding color and visual fantasy, which fits perfectly with a child's imagination. Kayla is a girl full of joy and energy, and this book captures that while inviting the reader to allow their own fantasies to fly.

The tale itself isn't really complicated and rather straight forward. And that's just right. The author makes it very clear that Kayla is loved and enjoys her life, and that is not hampered by her mother's job, which does have her away many hours of each day. Instead, the caring and wholesome atmosphere beams with positive feelings. The surprise Kayla's mother brings home adds to this even more, allowing this book to bask in the joy that family love can bring. So, this one is a cuddle-up-with-and-feel-good read. 

The text makes a nice read-aloud. The vocabulary is right for the age group, but also makes sure to incorporate a couple more advanced words as well. It's not the best for first readers to attack on their own, though, not only due to those few words, but the font does make things a tiny bit more difficult for beginning readers.

I did enjoy this book quite a bit and can imagine that the rest of the series is worth digging into, too. 

And here she is...

As a therapist, attorney, CEO of Make A Way Media, and award-winning author of fifteen diverse picture books including the Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess 5-book series to be released in 2021. Deedee has always had a passion for making the world a better place.

Her children's books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, but they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all.

Cummings is also the founder and creator of the Louisville Book Festival; a literacy-based celebration that occurs in Louisville, KY in October.

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