cover image Star Bright: A Christmas Story

Star Bright: A Christmas Story

Alison McGhee, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5858-1

News travels quickly in the heavens, especially when it involves the arrival of a baby on Earth in late December. The “newest angel” wants to join in the joyous celebration, but she’s stymied when it comes to selecting the right baby gift. Her “aha moment” arrives when she looks down through the vast night sky and sees three “others” on camelback riding through the desert: “They too looked lonely—No, they looked lost!” The angel tumbles down, gathering light along the way, “Until she came to rest exactly where she was needed.” McGhee’s spare, tender language and light-dark imagery exert a powerful pull on the heartstrings. Reynolds’s delicate pen, ink, and watercolor art is accented with gently humorous details (the angel’s aviator goggles, the wise men consulting a map) even as it matches the text’s emotional intensity. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)