cover image Starcrossed


Julia Denos. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-358-15395-5

Poetic text and crystalline artwork tell the story of Eridani, a starry-eyed human girl with a passion for astronomy, and her friend Acamar, an impish astral being, “more of a constellation than a boy.” Eridani excels at leading her school’s celestial projects, and she and Acamar talk nightly as Eridani heads home: “Hey, Eri, can you see me yet?” he calls. Denos (Here and Now) writes of their contrary longings—Eridani wants to fly among the stars, while Acamar wonders about life on Earth—and grants their desires as each, aiming to be with the other, makes a wish that inadvertently swaps them. But they quickly move on from regret to embrace their new circumstances: “It felt good to shimmer// ... It felt wonderful to have feet.” Denos creates artwork drenched in color, wash, and flashes of light, portraying two bold spirits thirsty for knowledge and content to give up their corporeal forms in order to learn. In omitting the backstory of their unusual friendship and ending abruptly, Denos’s tale feels like a single episode in a longer saga. Ages 6–9. [em]Agent: Lori Kilkelly, LK Agency. (Oct.) [/em]