To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
Author: Ray, Mary Lyn
Explores the wonder of stars, whether they are in the night sky, on a plant as a promise of fruit to come, or in one's pocket for those days when one does not feel shiny.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 158565
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.20
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 54294
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/11)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/11)
Booklist (+) (10/15/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (12/11)
The Hornbook (00/11/11)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 PreS-K—Ray's simple ode to stars is an engaging concept book. The invitation to appreciate stars begins and ends with looking for them in the night sky. In between are stars drawn on paper to wear as a sheriff's badge, mounted on a stick to make a wand, and kept in one's pocket. The distinctive shape is found in moss on a tree, blossoms on pumpkin vines and strawberry plants, and in winter's snowflakes. Frazee's deft sketches of a diverse array of young children, scattered on white or mottled blue pages, are both playful and evocative. Viewers of all ages can empathize with the lone child in a row of empty swings on one of those days "when you don't feel so shiny." "Blow a ball of dandelion and you blow a thousand stars into the sky." The closing view of children donning pajamas for a last look at the night sky suggests that this will be a pleasant bedtime reading choice, but the book offers many other sharing uses for parents, preschool teachers, and librarians. It celebrates everyday experiences of children, prompting observation of the world around us, and it's beautifully structured for eliciting children's conversation and response. There are bits of humor and poetry, an engaging cast of players/star watchers, and many possibilities for pairing the book with crafts, activities, and other books, too.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2011 Childish wonder is an amazing thing, an approach to the world unfettered by convention and yet grounded in the specific, an easy bridge between “this is” and “what if?” that scientists try to recapture. Too often, though, books for children miss the mark in attempts to convey it, instead depicting adorable childish ignorance about adult-understandable facts. Mary Lyn Ray’s Stars, however, splendidly treats its subject with the matter-of-fact openness of childhood reminiscent of classics such as A Hole Is to Dig, applying it to a large and surprisingly intricate subject. It’s not the astronomical science of stars that Ray focuses on; it’s what they mean to us on the ground both in their literal and symbolic incarnations, whether twinkling overhead, decorating our lives with shiny shapes, or metaphorically lighting our way, that this sweetly thoughtful picture book celebrates. That’s a big and abstract topic for a subject, but the text handles it with stylish aplomb by keeping the focus squarely on the recognizable reality. On the manifest level, the text wanders amiably from sky-watching (“As soon as you see one, there’s another, and another”) to garden observations (”Yellow stars on pumpkin vines become October pumpkins”) to household details (“There might be a star on the calendar to mark a special day”), with stops along the way for the fanciful (“Moss where you might see fairies is made of green stars”). The intimate direct address, plain language, and gentle rhythm (“If you hold a wand the right way, you might see a wish come true. Not always. Only sometimes”) turn what could be a twee indulgence into a charming kid-level inquiry. Underneath the delicate catalogue of starry implications, however, is a quiet, often subtextual reassurance about feeling secure in a sometimes trying world, with the stars ensuring that “the dark that comes doesn’t feel so dark” and the stars at the end offering a benediction that doesn’t depend on visibility (“If sometimes you can’t see them,” the text notes accurately, “they’re still there”). Physically, the book is a thing of understated beauty: it’s got a tall reaching-for-the-sky portrait-style orientation and an unobtrusive artistry in the backgrounds and endpapers that start the book with cerulean open air and head through smoky blue twilight to finish with glimmering nighttime inky black. The pencil-soft text has variety that suggests genuine neat hand printing in a style that perfectly captures the homey, confiding tone of the narrative voice. As she did in Scanlon’s All the World (BCCB 10/09), Frazee makes effective and appropriate use of the horizon line throughout her many landscape scenes, placing her young characters in relief against the wide skies; there’s a nice longitudinal shape to the compositions as they move between personable spot-art sequences and double-page-spread full-bleed embraces of the world, with a few intermediate steps in between. The artist peoples the starry pages with a small multicultural group of children, so viewers can follow their favorites throughout. Her Shirley Hughes–like talent for depicting kids who are cute but realistic and individual is on full display here: her subjects have all the variety and energy of good candid photography, and she’s particularly gifted in capturing the nuance of pose, the details of a kid’s belly pooching out, or cowlick springing up, or tongue sticking out in concentration. This is the kind of bigger-than-it-seems book that exemplifies picture books at their finest. Young dreamers in particular will appreciate the imaginative approach, and they’ll especially enjoy experiencing this fanciful rhapsody as a bedtime book—especially if shared by flashlight in the warmth of a summer night under the stars. (See p. 221 for publication information.) Deborah Stevenson, Editor - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 10/15/2011 *Starred Review* Stars. Who hasn’t looked up in the sky and contemplated their magical presence? On tall, oversize pages, mostly filled with a heavenly blue sky, diminutive kids point and watch as first one star appears, and then another, and another. The text asks, “What if you could have a star? They shine like little silver eggs you could gather in a basket.” Unfortunately, you can’t keep one, but you can draw a star on shiny paper and put it in your pocket. You could stick one on your shirt and be a sheriff or put one on a wand to make wishes come true. And as the text reveals, there are so many more things to do with stars. The winning combination of Ray and Frazee crystallizes these ideas into a near-perfect picture book that encourages children’s minds to wander and wonder. The airy illustrations move across the pages like clouds in the sky, showing star shapes everywhere, even in strawberry plants, pumpkin vines, and snowflakes. In a final message, the book asks children to remember that stars are around whether you see them or not: “Every night. Everywhere.” Lovely. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.