Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 PreS-Gr 1—Little Hoshi is a sea star who has her sights set on the sparkling sky. She wishes she were "up there, where all is fine. Up there, where I would shine!" Many listeners will relate to McDonnell's self-pitying protagonist, who thinks everything would be perfect, if only. The narrative is conveyed primarily in prose; rhymes are used twice to focus attention on the central struggle. As in Stoop's Red Knit Cap Girl, the use of a plywood canvas—to which acrylic, pencil, pastel, and ink have been applied and digitally manipulated—cleverly allows the grain of the wood to become the irregular lines of the ocean current or the heat radiating from the sun. The artist employs pattern, color, and scale to create surprises as the pages turn when Hoshi is imagining the wonders in the heavens (while missing the school of minnows, the vibrant coral, and the enormous whale passing by). The sea star's red orange coloring contrasts with the gray ocean depths, where she has retreated in despair. A chance encounter with an anglerfish, whose luminescence Little Hoshi envies, helps her learn the secret of shining: being happy with one's situation, with one's self. As she rises back to the water's surface, her heart glows. VERDICT A lovely but somewhat purposeful title to share one-on-one or with a small group. Fans of McDonnell and Stoop will appreciate the pleasing way the medicine goes down.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2017 Little Hoshi is a sea star who longs to live in the sky. She thinks “above” the water is superior in every way to “under” the water. She is so focused on what she imagines she’s missing that she’s blind to the wonders already surrounding her. The multimedia illustrations are rendered on plywood—the wood grain nicely creates an illusion of swirling water—and the imagery supporting the story is unmistakable. When Hoshi despairs, she swims down to the deepest waters of the ocean; when she finds joy within herself, her heart shines a bright yellow. A glowing anglerfish in the depths helps Hoshi literally “see the light” and gain self-knowledge. When the fish explains that she shines because she can find happiness in any location, Hoshi starts to rethink her point of view. Despite the heavy-handedness of the text, Stoop’s art imbues Hoshi with humor and a sweet appeal. The image of Hoshi, arm “points” drooping as she cries, portrays classic toddler behavior. This title will be useful in helping children identify and resolve difficult feelings. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.