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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The story in this interactive picture book focuses on Minna and her rabbit family and their trip to the museum/planetarium to learn about the stars. The book is interactive because it has little side activities like making star sandwiches, for example, as a way to celebrate space. The illustrations are lovely, the recipes are age appropriate but some of the text seemed a bit unsure of what age it wanted to speak to. As a picture book, it is appropriate for the little kids up to the kindergarten/first grade years. As a story, it is more appropriate for maybe kids just a bit older than that. So I'm not completely clear on what age group the author had intended this for when writing it.

I liked that the book offered a trip to a place called Star Space - what I consider to be like the planetarium in New York and I think there are places like this all over the country. It gives children and their parents who read this an opportunity to take the story further and visit such a place to learn more about the stars, the moon and the solar system. Seeing space in action is a pretty cool thing for both kids and adults. It's pretty fascinating if you allow yourself the time to enjoy it.

That said, the text itself was a bit clunky and did not flow in the way picture books should. Some of the passages are complex even for the older children. I tried to read it aloud to myself to see how it sounded but again, it did not roll off my tongue and sounded awkward.

Before purchasing, you may want to take a peek at it through your library. It may be fine for your child but only you would be able to assess that. The artwork, as I've said, is really lovely. You could always paraphrase the story, right?
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VINE VOICEon August 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Stars! Stars! Stars! is an interesting hodgepodge of a story about Minna, a young stargazer who questions what she sees in the sky; the book is more than a sweet story about a girl finding out more about her surroundings. the book also contains a recipe (which would be fun to make and then read the book with it), thoughtful questions, and scientific statistics in the illustrations.

The story gives ideas for how to stargaze and asks several food-for-thought questions. In a way, the book feels more like a lesson plan than simply a book. In my opinion, this is really good as it makes the book education. The science is very accessible and very easy to understand in this book.

The illustrations are colorful and delightful; however, I object to the use of black on a dark green background for two pages in this book. The text is almost too faint to pick up on, especially, for those who might be colorblind/visually impaired (which often includes children and/or parents who'd be reading the book to the children).

I'd highly recommend reading it and then making the yummy treats for the kids!
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VINE VOICEon July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book would make a great introduction to a unit study on stars for young children. The illustrations are cutesy and colorful. The book includes tips for stargazing, star recipes, and classroom star activities.

Although the book is recommended for ages six through eight, I don't feel this book would have much appeal for eight year olds. The book seems more appropriate for six and seven year olds. The book is a bit too cutesy for most eight year olds. On the other hand, the text is a bit lengthy for many four and five year olds.

The book introduces topics such as stargazing, constellations, the North Star, and galaxies in a casual manner that is likely to appeal to children. In the book, you follow a rabbit named Minna and several of her friends as they go on a trip to Star Space at the children's museum. It's an adorable way to present scientific concepts.
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VINE VOICEon July 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I ordered this book for my niece, who is about to turn 3. My Brother in law is an astronomy fanatic so I figured this would be a good book for father and daughter to share. And to a degree it is a good book. The factual information is spot on, there are cute little bunnies, there are beautiful pictures of stars and galaxies. This book also contains an smattering of different factoids like recipes for the kiddos to try. Where this book suffers in its inability to pick an age range. Some of the information is great for reading to pre-K children, some is more for the 10 year old range. It almost feels as if this is two books written for different ages, smashed into one book. Still it makes me very happy that there are books out there about astronomy with beautiful pictures like these for little children.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
LOVED the Stars Stars Stars book which is fun and refreshing because its a mother who LOVES astronomy who has a young daughter who loves astronomy who are the main characters in the book.

The one illustration of the Northern Hemisphere/Spring Constellations reminds me of the Chabot Observatory Friday night astronomy classes alifornia where we would sit in reclining chairs and on the ceiling would be the same lay out but lit like the night sky. Went and bought a layout at a store and did the same idea on a ceiling in our home.

This is a book for GIRLS as well as boys and I highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon August 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is full of information about stars. I thought it was going to be a picture books with simple information and was surprised at the level of the information. For example, while explaining the constellations, the teacher says "Ancient Greeks thought that Orion..." - I am pretty sure that my 3 and 5 year old have no concept of who the Ancient Greeks are. It also uses big numbers like one hundred million which my youngsters do not have much concept of yet. Despite having pictures that seem to appeal to the preschool/kindergarten age, I think the content is better for older kids.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a book that has many ideas for activities for its young readers, in addition to stargazing. There are questions, answers and examples of star food - fruit and soup and cookies. The facts and examples that are used for teaching are not overwhelming but will give a good start on the knowledge and an appreciation of the night sky.

There is a star chart for the northern hemisphere included and advice for stargazing.
This is an excellent book for 6 year olds and up to learn about the nighttime sky. It will keep them interested with bunny illustrations and yet not talk down to them.
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VINE VOICEon June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My family loved this book, I got it for my toddler, but my tween liked it allot as well. My daughter is really into Max & Ruby right now so she loved that the main characters were cartoon bunny rabbits. The pictures are beautiful you would/could find them in any scientific journal. It's fun watching her reconcile the images with the small bright star spot in the sky, and the image of five pointed stars she see's in books and on Tv. It's hard back which is great since I know it will get used allot over the years a great blend of some fiction and mostly non-fiction. 10 stars**********
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on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It must be difficult writing children's books. You have to be slick enough to know what is going to appeal to a young audience , be able to write for that young audience , and hope that audience will share your book with our youngsters.
"Stars ! Stars ! Stars !" has the recipe perfectly prepared. Heck , even as an adult , I enjoyed reading this to the growing clan of nephews and nieces. A very well-balanced book of pleasure and education , I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading to kids.
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