Jeanne Willis, Author
Briony May Smith, Illustrator
Nosy Crow (Imprint of Candlewick), Fiction, Feb. 12, 2019
Suitable for Ages: 2-5
Themes: Siblings, Self-esteem, Multigenerational relationships, Being true to yourself
Opening: “When I was little, I wanted to be a star. My sister was a star. Everybody said so. But nobody said it to me.”
A little girl dreams of being a star, but no matter what she does — finding Mom’s lost wedding ring, winning a costume prize, or knitting a perfect scarf — her big sister always shines brighter. Then, one night, the girl gazes up at the sky with her grandfather. He tells her about the Big Bang theory and how everything and everyone is made of stardust, so we all shine in different ways.
Why I like this book:
This quiet book would make an excellent read-aloud before bedtime. The narrative has a lovely rhythm and it speaks to the core of a child’s insecurity of feeling overshadowed by an older sibling. I enjoyed the relationship between the grandfather and his granddaughter. The illustrations are stunning and compliment the storyline. They also depict how diverse we all are as humans. I love the ending where readers will discover the girl does shine in her own special way. This is a great family discussion book as it encourages siblings to share their insecurities and their dreams.
Resources: Read the book to children. Ask each child to say what they like about each a sibling or classmate — what makes them shine. Or ask each child to draw a picture about what they dream about and what makes them shine.
Jeanne Willis wrote her first book when she was five. After that, there was no turning back. She has since written more than three hundred books and has won several awards, which are arranged in the attic where she works along with her collection of caterpillars, pink-toed tarantula skins, and live locusts. Jeanne Willis lives in London.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by publisher.