Bound To Stay Bound

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 Star stuff
 Author: Burkert, Rand

 Publisher:  Michael Di Capua Books (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [32] p., col. ill., 31 cm

 BTSB No: 173523 ISBN: 9780062858177
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Stars -- Fiction
 Farmers -- Fiction
 Donkeys -- Fiction

Price: $23.98

It's up to Giovanni and Lorenzo, Sky Repair Specialists, to fill the sky with stars. One night, on the job, Lorenzo gets stuck in a swirling cloud of gas and dust--a nebula! Giovanni calls out for help to their very own creations--the constellations. What will it take to rescue his friend?

 Illustrator: Raschka, Christopher

   Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/15/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (10/27/23)
   Booklist (10/15/23)
 The Hornbook (00/09/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 10/15/2023 Giovanni and Lorenzo, his donkey, are dear friends and Sky Repair Specialists. Every evening, Lorenzo, laden with baskets of star stuff, and Giovanni, armed with his trusty pitchfork, climb into the night sky and patch any holes in the cosmos. All is well until Lorenzo steps into a nebula that refuses to relinquish its grip on the donkey's leg. Giovanni, unable to pull his panicked friend free, cries out for help. The nearby constellation Orion hears his pleas and bounds over to assist, but the leg remains firmly mired. Cancer the crab and Taurus the bull come running, and finally, with a mighty combined pull, the donkey’s leg pops free, and the grateful Sky Repair Specialists thank their literal lucky stars. The bouncy, rhyming text has an occasionally awkward meter, but the eye-catching illustrations burst with starlight and sweetness, and the constellations are cleverly rendered as actual beings with their star scaffolding shining through. There isn’t any scientific or mythological discussion here, but the friendly fantasy brings the night sky beautifully to life. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/27/2023 K-Gr 3—In this original tale, young readers will be swept up to the very stars to walk beside an unlikely pairing, a sky caretaker named Giovanni and his faithful donkey, Lorenzo, as they plant "star stuff" and face the danger of a nebula with the aid of three constellations who come to life in the duo's time of need. With his signature harmony of dark and light strokes of color to organically shape figures' outlines and bloom across the page in beautifully enticing layers, Raschka's brilliant watercolors swell with a dreamlike quality to match and elevate the tone of the story's folktale-like design. Warm golds radiate starshine and the vastness of the nebula; a muted red trims Lorenzo's bridle and Giovanni's clothes, while darker, cooler blues and greys fill the night sky and the imposing bodies of the heroic, larger-than-life constellations. The story is told in short phrases, positioned like poem stanzas, that rely heavily on the clarity of its rhymes and expressive, descriptive verbs, some of which seem overused when depicting the clumsy Lorenzo. As the rising action builds and phrases repeat to formulate a familiar pattern for readers, the longer stanzas sometimes splinter in rhythm as more lines are added and the complexity of the rhyming structure may unsettle newly independent readers. The appearance of the constellations may strike readers as sudden, yet timely, as will the draining nature of the nebula, so young readers who are familiar with Zodiac signs and names and other stories related to the stars may find the characters' tenacity more believable and the resolution more gratifying. VERDICT Arresting watercolor compositions dotted with shining starlight spill across the pages of this original story about a night's misfortune for a star-walking farmer and his donkey that will leave readers to wonder about the legends of the constellations.—Rachel Mulligan - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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