Saturday 24 April 2021

Where do the Stars Go?

Where do the Stars Go? by Katie Stewart (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $24.99 ISBN 978 1 760990480                                   

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Possum wakes up one morning and wonders where all the stars have gone. He sets off upon a wondrous day of discovery. Each of his friends shares different places where they believe stars are hidden in their environment. But it is not until the end of the day, with a little help from his Mother, that Possum discoveries the true answer.

Katie Stewart is an author/illustrator whose first book What Colour is the Sea? was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year (2020).

In this latest gorgeous and easy to read book, she captures the curiosity and innocence of childhood. Not only does she share the joy of discovery, but she helps a child want to make their own discoveries and seek stars. This book encourages a love and appreciation for nature.

The author expertly uses the structure of question and answer. The repetition of the question ‘Where do stars go in the daytime?’ encourages a young reader to join in with the story and be engaged. The language used has gentle verbs, well placed adjectives, and similes. ‘These stars are like balls of fire,’ he said. Katie shows that each of us see things around us differently, depending on our own experiences. The themes of this book include discovery, imagination, wonder, friendship, nature and the environment.

The illustrations of our Australian flora and fauna are captivating and stunning. This is an Australian picture book that celebrates our unique country. The colour palette has our environment’s rich colours that are so different to other parts of the world. The illustrations slow the reader down and encourage mindfulness, to take in the beauty of each page. This book is filled with double spreads that are mirrors of our vast country. The illustrator pays attention to detail. with each line and brush stroke creating almost three-dimensional images that celebrate our connection to country.

Where do the Stars Go? is a picture book for children aged 2 to 5years. It would make a perfect addition to any home or library shelf. It is also a quintessential gift for a child overseas to help celebrate our Australia. The topics of this book suit the early school curriculum and teachers will find this book a very handy resource. This is a lovely book that celebrates so much about our glorious country and the joy of discovery.

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