In times past, a journey unspoken of until now...
"Rain is essential for life"
This story is about a jungle princess that, when happy, creates ample amount of rain for the rainforest. However, when the jungle princess Rain is sad, it becomes too sunny and creates a drought. Unfortunately, her protector Shadow gets captured and causes Rain to become sad, causing the whole jungle to search for Shadow.
"Two boys that trespass into trouble"
This story features two boys, the younger brother named Colt and the older brother named Darius. Colt decides that it would be much faster to cut through a farmer's field to get to the market. However, there are always consequences for shortcuts and trespassing.
"Getting rid of a nightmare with a dreamcatcher"
This story is about REM, she collects all the dust from the dreamcatchers created by the nightmares. This dust typically fuels an evil spirit called the DarkNight. On her conquest on fighting against the DarkNight, she meets a fellow named Crisp and he helps her in finding a cure to the madness in which the DarkNight is trying to stir.
RainShadow is written and illustrated by Candice Gartzke. The story is about a jungle princess named Rain. She has a protector named Shadow that can change from panther to human in the shadows, but in the light, he is stuck as a panther. Shadow and Rain grow up together and fall in love. At night, Shadow decides to go on a quest to get a diamond ring to propose to Rain. Shadow meets a fellow named Trapper that shows him diamond rings on the outskirts of the desert. With the sun about to rise, Trapper surprises Shadow and traps him in the light as a panther. Rain notices that Shadow has gone missing, she stumbles into a spider and an old man. They helped her fall into a spider’s web to teleport to Shadow’s location. From, there Rain rescues Shadow and their story will be remembered forevermore.
RainShadow has all the qualities of a spectacular fairy tale with shapeshifting, magical enchantments, antagonist, and a heroine. Candice Gartzke’s illustrations are sepia in color and have a rough look. RainShadow is a great story to help kids’ imaginations grow! Candice Gartzke has made a modern fairy tale for the whole family to enjoy.
5 OUT OF 5 STARS
Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
"RainShadow by Candice Gartzke is a fantasy picture book that revolves around the isolated life of mythical creatures in the rainforest. RainShadow is the combining of names that belong to two of the story's characters. Rain is an elemental spirit who is able to harness the power of the weather, with climate dictated by her will and, less pleasantly, through her emotions. Shadow is a shapeshifter that moves between his physical forms of a two-legged being like Rain, and his sleek, stealthy panther existence. The pair grow to love and depend on each other, separated only when the outside influence of human greed and consumption forces Shadow into a danger that only the perseverance of love and connection can fuel...something only Rain possesses.
RainShadow is a unique story in a long-established genre, and Candice Gartzke does well in the way she whispers a bit of new life into a place where only very old tales exist. The illustrations are a mix of sketch and paint-styled artwork that take on the appearance of earthy pan tones layered in gradients on top of a watercolor wash. Rain and Shadow are ethnically ambiguous, which is important to me with young readers in our diverse household. In a nod to how far storytelling has come, it was refreshing to read about a female rescuing a male. This is the standout theme of this book for me. The narrative is likely to be considered a bit on the mature side, particularly where it unapologetically introduces violence and entrapment, but again, Rain pushing forward to save her “protector” gave the book a strong leg up. Recommended."
Candice Gartkze was featured on Seattle Refined: Artist of the Week. Click the image above to see the interview