'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 4 November 2017

Review: Stardust

The universe was created from nothing then BANG! Stars were born.

From a small child the little girl in Stardust has always wanted to be a star. She loves stars. She has stars on her bedroom curtains and glow stars to light up the dark. The little girl uses star hair clips and on fancy dress day she wears a star costume.

However, in her little world, it is her big sister who is the star. The little girls wants to be noticed for own talents and interests. While being disappointed at not being the star in her family she continues to dream. She gazes into the night sky and reads her books about the planets, astronauts, and rockets.
Her grandad notices her. He provides the love, support and encouragement that the little girl needs. Grandad reassures her 'Your sister isn't the only star in the universe. Remember what you are made of...you shine in different ways.' He tells her how the universe was created and gives her a special present to support her dreams. She remembers Grandad's words and immerses herself in her passion and ultimately her wish comes true.

The words used by the author, Jeanne Willis, in Stardust are simple and profound. They create heart-warming ripples that captured me, I wanted to know what happened next. The story assists readers realising that while they are different from their siblings, that they shine in their own way. Each child has different talents. They have their own dreams to follow.

The illustrator, Briony May Smith has created delightful and detailed illustrations that illuminate the scenes. The darkness is not black but shades of blue with warm glows and twinkly lights. The illustrations show how much the little girl is absorbed by her passion and dreams. They convey the breath of emotions found within Stardust's covers; peace, hurt, happiness, disappointment, love, wonder, joy and dreamy. Where the illustrations include lots of children they are culturally diverse. Briony has taken care to include picture clues for the readers to discover more about the little girl and her family eg. a figure in a lit window to a photograph wall showing the family's history or a telescope in the grass, a gift from Grandad for star gazing.

The author and illustrator's story telling reminds me of the nights that I spent stargazing out my bedroom window, when I sent my wishes to the first star that shines at night.

I hope that Stardust touches readers like the waves from the big bang of the universe's creation and that you reach for your own star. Remember we are all made of stardust.

More stories from Jeanne Willis include; I'm In ChargeDinosaur Munch! The Diplodocus and The First Slodge.

Title: Stardust
Author: Jeanne Willis
Illustrator: Briony May Smith
Publisher: Nosy Crow, $24.99
Publication Date: 25 October 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781788000680
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book