Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Stella's Starliner

If you haven't yet discovered Rosemary Wells, read on.  And if you have, well, read on.  I have been entranced by her many characters over the years including Max, Ruby, Yoko, and Sophie and was recently delighted to discover her newly published picture book, Stella's Starliner.  Stella is a young fox who lives with her mom and dad in a silver house by the side of the road.  Inside the house is tidy and compact with a room for sleeping, a room for being awake, and a kitchen for eating pancakes on Sunday morning. Stella has everything she needs and not a worry in the world. Until the day a band of bullying weasels stop by and say mean things to Stella declaring she is poor and her house is nothing but a tin can.  "Their words stung Stella's heart like the stings of bees."  Being a sensitive fox  she won't tell mama what is bothering her because she doesn't want her to feel the stings too. But wise mama knows and comforts Stella with an imaginative story about the Starliner sailing through the Milky Way and landing on a bright, sunny island.

Here, in this new place  Stella's new friends love her silver house and think it is way better then their boring house made of plain old wood.  My conclusion is that mama has created a make-believe world about the Silver Starliner to help Stella feel better.  Others may read it and think papa actually hitches the house to his truck and flys through the night moving his family to a new location. Whatever conclusion you come to the important message to share with your child is that it isn't the size of your house but the love inside that matters. 

Rosemary Wells writes and illustrates picture books that deal with conflict and resolution for very young children.  She is funny, but sensitive.  She creates images that are detailed without feeling cluttered.  Her artistic use of rich, vibrant color welcomes the reader into the story from the very first page.  While children will recognize themselves in her stories, adults will appreciate the humorous expressions and emotions so perfectly captured on the faces of her charming critters.

After reading Stella's Starliner you will want more. You can find interesting details about her life and all of her books at And of course, you can check out her books at the library!

Miss Julie

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