cover image Jordi's Star

Jordi's Star

Alma Flor Ada. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22832-2

Gaber's (Bit by Bit) radiant, clear-toned paintings give a quiet luminescence to this story of a solitary shepherd who lives with his flock among dry and dusty hills. One day, after a heavy rain, Jordi finds a small pond has formed near his house. Bereft of human companionship, Jordi befriends a star that is reflected in the water each night. To please it, he plants flowers and fruit trees, and these actions bring him into touch with the blossoming mountainside and with his neighbors in the nearby village. Ada (My Name Is Maria Isabel) uses matter-of-fact language to take the strangeness out of Jordi's imaginary relationship; he does not ask the star about the nature of the cosmos-he asks her if she slept well and chats to her about the beauty of the foliage. The hero's plump, bearded face, almost blank at first, gains rosy good cheer as the story progresses. The gently humorous illustrations make the tale of Jordi's spiritual growth shine with joy. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)