Stars by Marla Frazee: Reach for the Sky

Stars are objects of hope and wonder. They start a little something in a child’s imagination, like ‘what’s up there?’ But they aren’t just in the sky…look around and you’ll find stars everywhere. And remember, for those in the sky it always has to be a little dark to see them best.

stars

Plot

A star is how you know that night time is coming. As you watch you’ll see first one pop out, then another, and another. Isn’t any child’s dream to be able to reach the sky? Pluck a star down for themselves, and see what it really is?

In ‘Stars’ this wish is addressed quite frankly. You cannot have a real star, of course, but you can cut one out of shiny paper, and keep it in your pocket. It may not sound all that thrilling, but don’t be too quick to judge. Having a paper star can still be wonderful. You can turn it into a sheriff’s badge, or a wand, or keep it for those days when you need to feel a little brighter. Stars also turn into pumpkins, and the white ones that fill the fields become strawberries in the summer. And if you ever lose your star, there are places of fancy you can go to where you can find another one.

Illustrations

Marla Frazee you little rascal, you’ve illustrated this book in such a way that I couldn’t help but judge it by its cover! Smooth and untouched by author/illustrator/publisher names, it sucked me in instantly. I think it’s sublime.

The illustrations in this book are formatted so that there’s multiple pictures on one page, often times with a white background and just a bit of scenery. Then there are a few pages filled with a matte scene of black, and white and indigo sky. The text is neat and satisfying, and the kids are sweet and kind looking. I am a tough one to please when it comes to how people are illustrated, so that’s saying something.

stars illustrations

Endless Possibilities

Up in the north woods of Minnesota there’s a place you can go where you can see the universe mapped out above you. It’s a rickety wooden dock that extends out into a dark, still lake that is so pure in its reflections it’s like there are two skies, one above you and one stretched out on the water in front of you.

You go out onto this dock, wrapped up in blankets and doused in bug spray, and I swear you could look up forever. The night sky is blanketed with stars, so bright and intense it’s almost completely silvery white, with just pinpricks of velvety black. The gauzy Milky Way stretches ever onward and your view is so clear you can see the world like a satellite image from space, as globe that domes above us. Going there has, undoubtedly, contributed to my love of stars, and in turn, the fondness I feel for this book.

However, since this is a review of a children’s book I have to say it’s the illustrations that are the strongest aspect of this book. They are soft, imaginative, creative, all that good stuff, but the storyline is not that engaging or exciting. There is a bit of a rambling quality to the writing, and its somewhat disjointed. I liked the book, but that is from an adults point of view, in terms of recommending it to read to children, I have to say the plot just isn’t there, and therefore it won’t hold their attention for that long.

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