This is a book for older children; it is a unique story about an extraordinary character! Our heroine is a shadow names "Shadi," who is unhappy because she must always accompany her "person" - in short, Shadi wants to be free! Thanks to a good deed and with the help of the Shadow Fairy, Shadi is given her freedom and begins a traveling adventure that takes her to France. After enjoying Paris and the French countryside, a fair-weather cloud shadow urges her to go to Darjeeling, India, to visit the guru Mahatma Umbra who is said to reside in a mountain cave. The reader accompanies Shadi over many lands en-route to her destination in the Himalayas. As she travels through each country, that nation's flag is illustrated in the book along with interesting facts about its wild life and features. When Shadi reaches her goal, with the help of the shadow of the mountain hawk eagle, she meets the Great Shadow, and we learn interesting information about shadows from their conversation. Finally, having had enough adventure and travel, Shadi is assigned to accompany a newborn baby girl throughout a happy life. A delightful, educational, and unusual story. Welcome to the "shadowy" world of Shadi! The educational value of this book is enhanced by its appendix which contains a list of uncommon words used in the story which the young reader is encouraged to look up in the dictionary or the internet. A summary of all the countries visited by Shadi is provided containing flag and map illustrations as well as data summaries from the CIA World Fact Book.

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