Tuesday 31 August 2021


Star by Artelle Lenthall and Margaret Dewar (Little Pink Dog Books) PB HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 978 048964001

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Star is small and nobody wishes upon her. There is nothing special about her. At Christmas time, Star sees a young woman on a donkey, she is about to have a baby. Star feels compassion and suddenly she becomes bigger and stronger. She lights the way for the woman and man to find a safe place for the women to give birth. Star helps by shining brightly upon the baby lying in a manger. Then she continues to shine her light for them to find a way to safety. From that day forth Star was part of the Christmas story.


Artelle Lenthall has created such a heartfelt voice for Star. Her unique way of telling the Christmas story is beautifully done. Star questions why she was made so small and what her purpose is in the universe. The voice of an angel tells Star that one day she’ll discover how special she is. Lenthall uses dialogue at the start of the story to entice the reader to page turn. The story flows well and easily covers long periods of time. The growth in Star as a character at the end links well to the start as Star remembers the angel’s word. The story could have easily finished here but there is one last surprise at the end that takes the reader’s breath away. Star disappears. The unique characters and voice in this story make it a lovely read.


Margaret Dewar’s illustrations depict Star with a childlike face that is endearing. The angel is soft and gentle and wise. The vast night sky is blue with an array of white stars that pop on spreads. Perspective is shown well with the night sky and stars hugging the town. The double page of the angel and little star is stunning.  The wonder of the people captivated by the night sky captures the moment beautifully. Dewar zooms in and out with page spreads to bring the story elements into focus. The dominant use of blue and white suits the story well as does the starry endpapers.


Star is a picture book for 3-8 years encourages compassion and understanding. Although it is a Christmas story, it can be shared all year round due to its unique message. Star is a small hero who shines love and compassion out into the world. It really does make you want to wish upon a star.


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