cover image The Sun is My Favorite Star

The Sun is My Favorite Star

Frank Asch. Harcourt Children's Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-202127-6

Asch (the Moonbear books) is in top form with a child's simple yet lyrical paean to the sun's magic and usefulness. Following the sun from morning to night, the young narrator (of indeterminate sex) often gives way to whimsy, noting, for example, that when the sun's rays emanate from behind a cloud, ""it plays hide-and-seek with me."" But Asch also makes room for equally authentic observations that display a more scientific mind-set. To show that the sun's light ""is bright and hot,"" the child focuses sunlight through a magnifying glass onto a leaf, causing it to smolder. And at night, the child points out, the sun doesn't really disappear, but rather ""sends some light to keep me company"" via the moon. Asch echoes this interplay between the factual and figurative in his mural-like pictures where he combines strong graphic lines with soft glowing colors. Radiating the calm coziness of a child who feels safe and secure enough in the world to explore and explain it, this volume warms the heart, in much the same way that its subject warms the earth. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)