Jeanne Willis and Briony May-Smith
For the little girl narrator of the story, it’s deeply upsetting being the sister of someone who always seems to be the star of the show where family members are concerned, other than Grandad, that is.
Then one night after losing the Fancy Dress Competition to her big sister,
Grandad finds our narrator outside gazing up at the starlit sky. Her wish to be a star prompts him to tell her a story: the story of how the universe came into being.
A story that explains the connectedness of everything and everyone: “Everything and everyone is made of stardust,” he tells her. “… Your sister isn’t the only star in the universe… you all shine in different ways.”
And, inspired by his words, shine she does – in the most amazing way.
Such wise words; words that the little girl never forgets but equally, words that every child needs telling, sometimes over and over.
Briony May-Smith’s stunningly beautiful illustrations really do celebrate connectedness, diversity and individuality; they’re every bit as empowering as Jeanne Willis’ text.
Strongly recommended for families and early years settings to share and discuss.
In My Room
Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
The fifth of the ‘Growing Hearts’ series of novelty books starring a little girl protagonist is essentially a celebration of creativity and imaginative play.
The thick pages are cut so that when the book is turned through 90 degrees, they form together a variegated pencil crayon with which the girl conjures up a series of playful scenarios.
“All I need is paper, crayons, chalk … and my imagination!” she tells readers.
First she’s an explorer, then a dancing princess; she becomes a speed racer, a teacher, a writer,
a sailor, a swimmer, a bride, a vet and finally, a funky rock star; all without leaving her room other than in her head
and courtesy of her art materials. Not a sign of any technology anywhere – hurrah!
Yes, there are already plenty of picture books that celebrate the power of the imagination; what makes this one different is the format.
Long live creativity!
I’ve signed the charter