From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-On a starry night, this tale of sorrow turns to joy. A leaf-clad infant is lying in a meadow surrounded by rabbits, squirrels, and birds. The child cries out, Stars, bright stars, can you love me? Will you be my mother? When they do not reply, the baby asks the moon, the wind, the trees, a hill, a wolf, and a stream the same question. No one responds. A woman is gazing sadly out of a window when the wind carries the baby's cry to her heart. She runs out into the night, finds the child, and smiles. The pastel shades of the folk-art watercolors lighten the somber tone of this lyrical story. The illustrations are somewhat static although stars shine, leaves swirl, and small forest animals keep the baby company. This quiet story would be most appropriate to share one-on-one in adoptive families.-Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
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PreS. A text graced with lulling folk cadences; disarming, sunset-hued artwork; and a deeply satisfying conclusion should help this curious story draw readers, despite disquieting elements. The opening pulls no punches: "There was a baby who had no mother, crying in the starlight." The infant, clad in a fig-leaf onesie (suggesting divine genesis, perhaps?), searches for a surrogate, but the candidates--all nonhuman, most features of the landscape--remain impervious and even actively hostile; the West Wind "[grows] wild," a mother wolf "snarl[s]." Succor soon arrives, though, as a childless woman hears the baby's cries, and claims it as her own. The story's rejection and abandonment scenarios may stir children's anxieties, but harsh situations in baby lore (think of a certain lullaby's breaking boughs and falling cradle) have a place when shared in a safe, loving environment, and Harbour's soft-edged watercolors sand down the text's serrated edges. Even so, this may find its most receptive audience among adoptive or single-mother families, many of whom will welcome the biological vagueness as an opening for discussion of complex parenting arrangements. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved