cover image Are Your Stars Like My Stars?

Are Your Stars Like My Stars?

Leslie Helakoski, illus. by Heidi Woodward Sheffield. Sterling, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4549-3013-6

Introspection goes global in this inquisitive lullaby. Helakoski’s gently rhyming lyrics accompany readers on an exploration of hues that contemplates the perspectives of children around the world: “Do you splash in a puddle/ when the world is washed clean?/ Are the leaves fresh and bright?/ Is your green.../ my green?” The text emphasizes building empathy and suggests that all children, differences aside, view their surroundings with a universal curiosity. Though the tiny text can be difficult to read, page turns invite pondering. Dynamic and generously textured collage illustrations by Sheffield lend the hued romp friendliness and warmth, with a softness that amplifies the childlike narrator’s questions. An inclusive cast of children is depicted going about their everyday lives—engaging in activities such as playing soccer, picking apples, and baking cookies. The vivid, active spreads soon quiet into black and white, stirring somnolence, and text matches the mood: “Is the night sweet and sleepy?” A moonlit bed and starry snowscapes further the tranquility in this dreamy exploration of color and perspective. Ages 4–7. [em]Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. Illustrator’s agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Jan.) [/em]