cover image The Man Made of Stars

The Man Made of Stars

M.H. Clark, illus. by Lisa Evans. Compendium (APG, dist.), $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-938298-61-5

When a pale, angelic boy sees a mysterious light at the edge of the trees, his grandmother tells him that its source is the “man made of stars.” Though no one knows who he is or what he does, “he has lived here always,” she says. Wanting to know the man’s secret, the boy follows his light into the forest. Evans creates an ethereal, almost bioluminescent world in her illustrations. The boy eventually finds a wizardlike figure, whose white robe and beard glow pink in the celestial light. He gently explains that the stars are positive human emotions, like love: “You must have made someone very happy today. When you shared that kindness, a little extra spilled over. Now that kindness will become a new star.” As the story concludes, the boy tells readers that he now spends the evenings looking for new stars in the sky, ones that might contain a “special piece of me.” Readers intrigued by the fantastical setup may be disappointed by the story’s slow pace and oblique, feel-good sentiments, which can feel as hazy as Evans’s artwork. Ages 4–up. (June)