Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee

One of my favorite thing about children's picture books is the way they can bridge. The ones that work best for me invite any reader of any age to simply live through the book. This book, Stars, does that for me. I loved it the moment I read it at the booksellers' booth at NCTE, knowing that the inbreath I took upon seeing the cover was a good sign, and I ran my fingers over the cover when it arrived at my door a couple of days ago. I am presenting a workshop next week in Florida, and guess which book will be traveling with me? How did you know?

Stars is a story about stars: about where to find them, where to hold them, where to wish for them. It is a story about time and faith, about waiting and patience, and about the beauty of looking up. While reading it, I find myself thinking of spectacular star moments. I am reminded of laying on the rocks above 12,000' feet on a backpacking trip in Colorado with the Perseid Meteor Shower shooting stars all over a black sky. Gives me chills just to write about it. I think of walking out of our no-electricity/no-running water cabin in Oregon in the middle of the night because the glow of light shining on the fields surrounding the cabin made me get out of bed and see what was out there. I always know it is stars or moon not some alien invader-- just checking, were you?-  and it is always a perfect idea to go outside. And although this may put off a few readers, I am hoping some others will know what I am talking about here? Have you ever peed while looking at stars? If you have, you know how sweet this experience is. If you haven't yet, consider yourself invited. That is not in the book. Just so you know.

Simply written, it would make the perfect read aloud for any aged learner, reader, or star lover. In the midst of our electrically-driven lives, this book offers a moment to return to something glorious and discoverable every night: just look up. If you are lucky, you will see what I saw this morning: Stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment