"May you discover your own special abilities and contribute them toward a better world."

Award-winning author, mother, and grandmother Costanzo has crafted an inspirational and delightful children's book. The choice selection of a glittering rainbow-colored cover invokes a specialness, and there is much to love and praise about her overall story. Costanzo delivers a joyful reading experience suitable for children and adults, pronouncing powerful lessons and affirming important morals.

The book begins with a brief "Once upon a time" narrative in fairy tale form and tells of fairy godmothers, also known as the twelve wise women. When a prince or princess is born, the fairy godmothers visit the castle and bestow twelve gifts upon the royals at birth. This plot element is common in other fairy tales reiterated and revised in various forms through the generations, such as "Cinderella" or "Sleeping Beauty." But in Costanzo's story, these wise women realize over time their neglect of other children. So, they proclaim that every child should be born with these twelve royal gifts at birth. Sadly, this does not happen. Thus, the wise women declare a prophecy that foretells the coming day when a miracle will occur, and all the children of earth will learn the truth of their gifts.

Following the introductory fable, the scope of Costanzo's book is celebrating the beauty of children as she presents each of the twelve gifts a child inherits at birth. As these secret gifts are revealed, a particular magic unfolds, and the reader is comforted by Costanzo's tender words and images. The announcement of a specific gift is followed by a bid for how to use it in life. One example is imagination. Costanzo's graceful text conveys a simple but eloquent wish: "May it nourish your visions and dreams." Accompanying the gift of imagination is a nostalgic photograph of a girl assembling a sandcastle on a beach.

The words and imagery filling Costanzo's book create a well-designed work of art both satisfying and restoring. Soft, colorful photos and painted depictions of children portray them in happy or sometimes contemplative moments: a boy laughing with his pet dog; a girl watching the rain outside; three children smiling and running free along a dirt road. The serene visual representations elicit emotions of contented childhoods that will likely resonate with readers, especially parents. They instill a sense of the carefree, happy childhoods one hopes for every child. And Costanzo's reassuring blessings allow one to believe this can be true.

With her M.A. in spiritual psychology, Costanzo has the requisite training and knowledge for the themes and lessons here. She professes her keepsake book's origin comes from an idea intended for her two daughters approaching adulthood and stems from her own childhood wonder of why she cannot have the same gifts as the protagonist of "Sleeping Beauty." Initially an invitation for all girls to believe they are worthy of these gifts, Costanzo makes sure to broaden the book's reach to appropriately include all children. She is especially concerned for abused or neglected children and the misguided experiences in their young lives. She extends her graceful messages to those less fortunate in the hopes that they will be just as confident as their peers. A primary goal behind Costanzo's mission is to help parents nurture and offer guidance for the next stages of their child's life. And part of the magic in reading her work is how anyone can take away similar messages of hope and healing, no matter what age.

In a personal statement at the book's end, Costanzo encourages readers to listen to their children and to help them build strong foundations of respect and life values. She leaves her audience with a promising message that these gifts will make each child unique and help them to see the uniqueness in others. Costanzo has produced an endearing and beautifully rendered book that is worthy of sharing its positivity with others.

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