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Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish Hardcover – May 24, 2011
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“Beautifully illustrated with textured collages made from hand-painted papers of watercolor blends, the underwater environment is vividly brought to life on every page.” ―School Library Journal
“Joan Paley's bright, blocky collages of the ochre sea star, brick-colored with a lacy pattern on its back, have a cheerful feel, and readers ages 5-9 will probably be inclined to side with the star as it travels the ocean floor repelling enemies and looking for tasty things to eat.” ―Wall Street Journal
“Paley's beautiful artwork consists of collages of hand-painted papers of watercolor blends and textures.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Poetic verse and vibrant collages characterize this tribute to starfish.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Janet Halfmann has written many books about the natural world such as Animal Teachers; Eggs 1, 2, 3; and Little Skink's Tail. She lives in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, Tom.
Joan Paley is the illustrator of many successful books for children including Unbeatable Beaks, The Emperor Lays an Egg, and Little White Duck. She lives in North Scituate, Massachusetts.
Top customer reviews
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For instance, over the weekend, we were watching some video I took at our last trip to the circus, she turned to me and said, "Hey, Starfish is better than those guys. Bet no one had to teach her!" I admit I had no idea what she was talking about at first. It wasn't until she ran and brought me the book that I made the connection. At one point Halfmann compares Starfish to a circus acrobat and ER had remembered, even though it had been over a week since we'd last read the book.
I always learn a thing or two about the Halfmann's characters and this time was no different. I think that's why her stories continue to impress us so much. Star of the Sea in particular is a lovely experience, between the interesting facts and captivating pictures it's a title to enjoy over and over. I highly recommend it for teachers to use with ocean themes and as one for parents to pick up for their children after a trip to the ocean or aquarium. It's sure to bring up memories and teach your child more about the sea life they've just seen.
The vibrant artwork by Joan Paley pulls the reader in at the very beginning of the story. The way the story is written has a poetic feel to it. As I read each page, I can easily visualize being on the beach and ocean watching every move the starfish makes.
The author does a really good job of presenting the fascinating world of a starfish. As I read the story repeatedly, I asked myself the following question: "what lesson can a child learn from reading this well written book?"
Here are two lessons that came to mind:
Not giving up: Starfish goes on her journey in search of food and with a bit of perseverance, she arrives at the ideal location where she can fill her hungry tummy to her heart's content. "All night long, sea star feasts on mussels. When the tide starts to flow back to the sea in the morning, she is still eating. She finishes the last of her mussel, and then heads down the shore toward the sea and home."
Overcoming adversity: After feasting on mussels, the sea star waits too long to return to her home, leaving herself vulnerable to get snatched by a very hungry seagull. Luckily, she escapes with minor injuries.
The author provides the reader with a wealth of information about sea stars at the back of the book. This book can be used by teachers to introduce children to the amazing world of sea stars. Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish is by far the most informative book I have ever read.
This large, 10 X 10 hardcover picture book is a feast for the eyes. The illustrator, Joan Paley, used textured collages made from hand-painted watercolor papers. This story follows an ochre sea star throughout its day, while we learn about its anatomy, what it eats, its predators, and more. The publisher's website suggests Star of the Sea for children ages 5-9, but I think it would also be great for older children. After the entertaining story there are three pages of detailed information about sea stars, including a glossary and a labeled diagram of the anatomy. Young children 'learn to read,' but it's never to early to teach them how to 'read to learn' as well. I know my students will enjoy responding to the text with their own diagrams, or perhaps pictures labeling predators and prey, or the life cycle of the sea star's eggs.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
The illustrations are gorgeous cut paper-collage. The illustrator does a wonderful job of matching the illustrations to the text. It bothers me when illustrations don't match the text, thankfully that is not a problem here. The bright contrasting colors make the book very appealing. Overall I'd say this is a great book for sharing and I recommend it highly.