Sometimes you want a rollicking read aloud picture book. Sometimes you want informative and fun. And sometimes you want something quiet and sweet, especially at bedtime. For those winding down minutes, what could be better than a story about a little girl who helps a fallen, tiny twinkle of star find her way back to the night sky? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.
Every night when the sun had set and the stars gathered in the heavens to shine their light on the world, Little Star watched, wishing she could join.
But Little Star was far too small and had yet to develop her glow. Besides, it was hard for such a little star to stay up all night!
This opening took me back to those nights when my son was small, and he would nod in complete agreement with some small, powerless character. I could imagine him here, empathizing with this tiniest of stars.
One morning, Little Star is so sleepy she stumbles and falls from the sky, landing with a crash in the woods. A little girl named Sophie finds the fallen star sitting in her impact crater, sniffling and wondering how she’s going to get back into the sky.
The expression of Little Star as she wipes her nose makes me melt every time I read the book.
Sophie takes her hand and says “…together we will find a way!”
Enter a too-gentle breeze, a not-tall-enough giant oak tree, and a grumpy blackbird, all either unable to help or rude and uninterested. Poor Little Star.
Now, I live in a place where the clouds (otherwise known as fog) come down and play with the earth pretty frequently. So I loved it when an enormous billowing cloud made its entrance. Yes, Cloud is willing to lift her into the sky, but not before Little Star begins to glow with happiness. A glow that quickly dims when faced with losing her new friend, Sophie.
Sophie reassures Little Star that she will find her in the sky and make a wish. And when Sophie whispers “Good night, Little Star” to the brightest star in the sky, it twinkles and Sophie knows that Little Star is whispering “Good night, Sophie,” right back.
This story has a timeless, fairy tale or fable-like sensibility, one that is both comforting and empowering. Keep trying, and with a little help from your friends, you, too, may succeed and glow like Little Star. Raissa Figueroa’s illustrations have a dream-like quality that work perfectly with the story. A complete and satisfying package!
Facts for your budding astronomer: https://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-the-stars/
Make a “stained glass” star suncatcher: https://creativefamilyfun.net/stained-glass-stars/
Talk about what a good friend is.
Title: Sophie and Little Star
Author: Amber Hendricks
Illustrator: Raissa Figueroa
Publisher: Clear Fork Publishing (SPORK), 2018
Themes: friendship, bedtime, finding help
For more perfect picture book recommendations, check out Susanna Hill’s blog.