“Luka and Little Feather” by Ashlee Alicea

“Luka and Little Feather” by Ashlee Alicea 753 1024 Reader Views Kids

Luka and Little Feather

Ashlee Alicea
Orange Hat Publishing (2023)
ISBN: 978-1645384993
Reviewed by Holly Smith (05/2024)

On a walk to collect rocks to either skip or paint, First Nations child Luka comes upon a yotnAyátku or “wishing stone.” Although unconvinced that it is magical, she shares it with her sister, Little Feather, that evening. The two sisters decide to try a wish out and they pick the one dearest to their hearts: to see the ocean. At first, nothing seems to have happened, and the sisters go to sleep thinking nothing more of it. However, when they awaken, they have been magically transported underwater and fantastically sprouted tails so they can swim with ease. Luka and Little Feather quickly meet a whale who guides them through the ocean to a party where the sisters show off their dancing skills before returning home with an invitation to visit the deep sea whenever they desire. While the sisters find immense value in the comforts of home, they keep the yotnAyátku safe for future adventures.

Throughout “Luka and Little Feather,” author Ashlee Alicea’s prose flows clearly and brings readers along for the journey. Alicea also includes pronunciation guides for words in the sisters’ first language. These guides stand to educate readers of many backgrounds.

While for a young audience, “Luka and Little Feather” is a wonderful experience for any reader. One way in which the book catches the eye is with powerful details. The underwater setting is rich and vivid with a touch of humor. Throughout the book, illustrator Nix Doxtater has included powerful messages not only with the words on the shirts that Luka and Little Feather sport, but in wondrous and impactful messages spelled out in the water that abounds throughout this book. If these messages are not familiar to readers, they will certainly encourage them to look deeper into “Luka and Little Feather” as well as extend to research separate from the book.

Ashlee Alicea has thoughtfully crafted a delightful tale. Combined with Doxtater’s sweet artistic style and excellently deep details, “Luka and Little Feather” is sure to engage, spark interest, and charm readers of all ages.

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