cover image Twinkle, Twinkle Little Kid

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Kid

Drew Daywalt, illus. by Molly Idle. Philomel, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-17132

After wishing a “secret wish” on a single star in the sky, tan-skinned Clyde goes to bed, only to be startled awake by the very same star, now in his bedroom and wishing on him. Pale, radiant Star defies gravity and has a sparkly, multihued aura, but otherwise resembles a human kid in both outfit (footie pj’s) and attitude (“Jeez! You have to scream like that?... You completely freaked me out!”). When Clyde is informed that he has the power to grant Star’s wish, he has to discern what the secret desire is—and, following a series of vignettes set against deep purple tones that evoke the wee hours, it’s eventually revealed that both characters have yearned and wished for the same thing: a friend. Though the dialogue can be long-winded, and the sum-up (the two “were never ever lonely again”) seems a touch dubious, Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit) succeeds in lightening the heavy topic of loneliness with plenty of breezy banter. The real magic is in colored-pencil artwork by Idle (the Flora and Her Feathered Friends series), which has the visual drama and framing of classic animation, as well as a captivating celestial protagonist, who floats through the air with gymnastic nimbleness. Ages 4–8. [em](Aug.) [/em]