Author: Nivola, Claire A.
Brand: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Number Of Pages: 40
Release Date: 06-05-2014
Details: Product Description The Star Child, a tiny flame of vapor, invisible and timeless, watches the Earth from far, far away. He marvels at the blue swirls of the ocean and the green land, a bright spot turning through the darkness of space. He wants to go to this wondrous place, but he ponders: What will that life be like?"You will be plunged into Earth's river of time," his elders tell the Star Child."There will be so much for you to learn and so much for you to feel―pleasure and fear, joy and disappointment, sadness and wonder."Through spare, artful text and intricate illustrations, Claire A. Nivola celebrates the cycle of life. A Frances Foster Book From School Library Journal K-Gr 3—Star Child is "a flame of vapor, invisible and timeless," living somewhere far off in outer space where he longs to visit the distant planet Earth. Told in a small pretty volume, his story consists mainly of his elders' explanation of what he will experience if he is born as a human and lives on Earth. "Here it is still and peaceful, but there the colors, sensations, and sounds will wash over you constantly." In this particular scene, the dark-haired boy representing the Star Child as human is among the shoppers in a busy, open vegetable market. Nivola's pleasant watercolor scenes vary from scattered vignettes and pictures of assorted size to double-page views of the market, a forest, and the seaside. Most of the journey is through the childhood years as Star Child is "plunged into Earth's river of time." Eventually, he does grow up: "Over the years you will try to make sense of that happy, sad, full, empty, always-shifting life you are in." In the end, Star Child decides to make the trip, ultimately returning to stardom at the end of his earthly life and glad he had done it. The philosophical, even allegorical scheme is likely to elude children, though they can surely relate to the attractive views of childhood. The idea of human life originating and ending somewhere far beyond Earth will mesh with some religious beliefs. The presentation might work with primary grade children, but it seems more likely to appeal to some new mothers.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston From Booklist In this unusual and deeply moving interpretation of the cycle of life, The Star Child, a flame of vapor high in the firmament, looks down upon earth and states his desire to go there. His elders explain that in order to do that, he will have to be born a human child. They warn him about life on earth: he will need to learn to take care of himself; he will experience many unusual sights and sounds that will confuse him; he will feel pain, happiness, awe, and sorrow. Their cautions do not discourage the Star Child; he fulfills his desire to live on earth. And in the end, he’s glad he’s said yes. The lyrical text is spare and poetic, condensing a life’s myriad events into a few short pages of text. The highly detailed, richly colored mixed-media illustrations are a series of vignettes revealing the various stages of life, from beginning to end. The book comes full circle, showing the Star Child looking at earth on page one and an old man with a cane looking up at a star at the book’s conclusion. An affecting story of life on earth and all its wonderful complexity. Grades K-3. --Maryann Owen Review “This feels like an ardent exposition of a personal and heartfelt vision, and while some may not connect to its cosmic scope, those with a penchant for ethereal musings will find comfort and inspiration.” ―The Horn Book“An unusual and deeply moving interpretation of the cycle of life.” ―Booklist“Star Child is "a flame of vapor, invisible and timeless," living somewhere far off in outer space where he longs to visit the distant planet Earth. Told in a small pretty volume, his story consists mainly of his elders' explanation of what he will experience if he is born as a human and lives on earth.” ―School Library Journal“A fanciful, thoughtful examination of a life
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