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Author: Zetta Elliott
Illustrations: Nguyen Le Vu
Publisher: Rosetta Press
Each and everyone one of us knows what it feels like to be different. Sometimes our differences will make us feel as though we should keep away. But if we do, we will only become sheltered and alone. This story is about finding hope in a new friend.
There was an unusual girl who lived away from the city atop a hill that overlooked a valley. Her home was a hole in the ground that was covered by a large wooden door. She had no family or friends and survived only by taking in the beauty of the valley that surrounded her. One day a boy in a bubble appeared and soon they became friends. He too had been lonely and sad trapped in his bubble. Each morning the girl would awake with the hope that the boy would be there waiting. Together they went for a walk to the valley. The boy asked the girl, “What do flowers smell like?” Although the girl had seen the flowers many times she had never smelled them. She bent over one and took it all in. “It smells just like a sunrise,” she said. The boy asked her to touch a bunny that hopped in their direction. She had never touched one before and said, “It feels like comfort.” The girl tasted fruit and water but wanted to touch the bubble and the boy. He feared he might die. Unfortunately, a few harsh words came from the boy. He hadn't wanted to be free and wondered why the girl stayed away from the city and hid in her hole.
Time had passed and the girl hadn't seen the boy in the bubble for a long while. She had lost hope of ever seeing him again. She had become weak and frail. She missed her new friend. One night she came out of her hole and looked up at the stars. The boy in the bubble had been watching her. He had missed her too. He had come back because he did want to be free and apologized to her. The girl touched the bubble and it shattered. The boy fell to the ground. He was weak and trembling. Will the unusual girl and the boy from the bubble be able to help each other survive and overcome their loneliness? If so, would they be able to welcome the world around them?
Author Zetta Elliott has created a story that shares all five senses. Readers will understand what it is to be lonely. Readers will also come to understand relief, comfort and what it's like to taste something bitter sweet and to smell something soft and delicate. Most importantly, readers will understand the meaning of friendship and the importance of laughter, belonging and human touch. Parents and teachers can utilize this tool to share with a student or child who is withdrawn and unresponsive to the world around them.