From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4-When the author's wife saw a baby finch stranded at a busy New York City intersection, she took her home and learned how to care for her. Likewise, Stellina, or little star, learned to trust Holly for food and companionship. The bird flew and sang, lived in an apartment, and traveled to the studio where Holly was a Spanish dancer. Stellina looked out the window but was content being near Holly and Matteo. Early repetition of Holly, my wife and Stellina's CHEEP sets the tone for a tender connection between pet and caregiver. The pacing of the words makes the book ideal for reading aloud, but the accompanying pencil drawings minimally highlighted with pale watercolors, while visually appealing, may not be large or bright enough for group viewing. Yet the balance among clear text, realistic illustrations, and white space evokes the same calm patience with which Holly nurtured the finch. This creative and informative book, a lively alternative to most nonfiction bird-care books, shows how simple acts of human caring give meaning to daily life.-Julie R. Ranelli, Episcopal Center for Children, Washington, DC
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. Stellina, a New York City finch, falls out of her nest, and somehow Holly, Pericoli's wife, hears her cheep. Holly hopes the bird's mother will find her, but when that doesn't happen, she takes the bird home. "And now? What's going to happen now?" runs as a refrain through the tale, as Holly finds ways to feed Stellina, and takes her to the studio where she dances. Stellina (Little Star in Italian) soon learns to feed herself, to fly, and to watch Pericoli as he works (alert readers will see him working on his illustrated adult book Manhattan Unfurled
). A precise linguistic lyricism is at play: "Stellina learned how to fly . . and Holly was so excited . . . [Holly] knows how to dance, but not how to fly." The art is sophisticated and spare, but utterly accessible, as Pericoli uses negative space and deep perspectives to show the bird's nest in a traffic light, Stellina perched on his drawing pencil, or Holly's dancing from a bird's-eye view. Small readers will be utterly won over, and bigger ones will be enchanted. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved