Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Educational, fun, nicely illustrated
on July 16, 2013
I'm familiar with Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's illustrations and children's picture books (e.g., I have her Board Buddies book titled Snow), and I really like her mixed media approach to illustration and the way she integrates collage into her work. Her illustrations for Stars! Stars! Stars! were created with paper, acrylics, photos, and computer generated images.
My 5 year old granddaughter loves Stars! Stars! Stars! and for her it is a great follow up to a game she and her 3 year old brother and I played a couple of evenings this past winter. I shut off all the lights in her house (my daughter and son-in-law's house, and I honestly think it was the first time she'd been in the house with everything, including all the electronic gadgets, off) and we looked out the window at the night sky and she made up an elaborate story about the stars, in the spirit of what the bunny/child character Minna does on the first page of Stars. We did this two clear winter nights in a row and now with this book she gets a different understanding of stars, as well as the solar system, lunar phases, galaxies, astronomy, etc., delivered in a way that makes learning totally fun. This makes it more fun for her and for me when we use my super powerful binoculars and tripod to star-gaze (especially at my house given that I'm in a rural area where the sky isn't washed out by city lights).
All the information in the book is delivered via the context of a simple story about Minna, her family and friends (there are even a few simple, kid-friendly recipes in the book) and a visit to a branch of a Children's Museum called Star Space. At Star Space the young-uns learn about the solar system, the moon and its phases, the earth, what astronomers are and what they do, galaxies, why stars twinkle, the fact that stars are in the sky 24 hours a day but we can only see them at night, and they learn about constellations (which whetted my granddaughter's appetite for finding the Dippers). MS Wallace acknowledges a professor in Princeton's Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences for expert reading of her manuscript, as well as NASA for images, and simple and kid-friendly though the book is, it contains quite a bit of bona fide scientific information for young minds, delivered in a way that complements the sense of wonder one can get from contemplating the heavens.
Stars! is a square hardcover, about 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" and makes for good bedtime reading.