“A sense of wonder and a reminder to think outside of oneself star in this splendid color book featuring gorgeous poetry and illustration.”
Walking the reader through a series of eight colors, Are Your Stars Like My Stars explores each color as it is experienced by children in their own world, highlighting the different things with which a color may be associated for different cultures and places. Each color is showcased in two scenes, the first presented in lyrical verse as well as illustration and the second unfolding only through gorgeous mixed-media illustrations. Phrases mirroring “Is your black . . . like my black?” for each color link the two scenes and provide a parallel framework that feels connective rather than repetitive. Although the text itself is occasionally difficult to read set against the illustrations (particularly on the color blue page), which distracts from the otherwise excellent poetic flow, the original rhymes and pleasing cadence shine through as soon as one is familiar with where to look. The masterful incorporation of photographed texture in the illustrations (snippets of fabric used as clothing, furry alpaca, real cotton-candy, etc.) is clever and creates a very distinctive style that adds to the depth and authenticity. While the genre of color book may be stereotypically pigeon-holed as best suited for the board book format, this book is so substantive that it slides seamlessly into the picture book format for older readers.
“We look at the world every day. You and me. Do we see the same things? Do you see what I see?”
In beautiful, evocative rhyme, this lovely picture book helps children consider the colors of their everyday lives . . . and imagine how others around the world experience the very same things.
No matter where they live, all children gaze at the blue sky, bask in the warmth of the golden sun, dig in the rich dirt, and watch clouds grow soft and rosy at end of day. Through the eyes of one inquisitive and thoughtful young narrator, young readers explore the idea of perspective, and come to realize that all of us, everywhere, share the colors of the world. The gentle, poetic text and gorgeous collaged illustrations make this just right to say goodnight.
This book takes us across various cultures to show what different colors mean to different children around the world. What does each color mean to you?
The artist uses pieces of photographs to create some of the illustrations. Take a close look as you read the book again. What photographs and textures can you identify?
Leslie Helakoski is the author of the Big Chickens series as well as Woolbur and Woolbur Goes to School. She has written and illustrated Fair Cow, Big Pigs, Doggone Feet, and Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep. She lives in Michigan with her family. Visit her online at www.helakoskibooks.com.
To Freya Elise, our newest star
To BG, my every-shining North Star
“The best feature of the book is the highly textured, collage-style illustrations, many of which contain soft strokes of color that give the images a pleasantly dreamlike quality. Unfortunately, the print is small . . .”
“The text emphasizes building empathy and suggests that all children, differences aside, view their surroundings with a universal curiosity.”