Monday 8 August 2022


Stardiving by Andrew Plant (Ford Street Publishing) PB RRP $16.95 ISBN: 9781922696021

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

When two dolphins chitter excitedly about the stars in the sky, Fluke – a sperm whale calf – is desperate to see them. But that night, the stars are hidden by clouds. An enormous bull whale called Cachalot encourages Fluke to look down rather than up – to dive ‘where no star has ever shone’. Fluke descends to the depths and discovers an underwater world brimming with glimmering and shimmering creatures that ‘no dolphin has ever seen’ … all twinkling like stars.

Andrew Plant’s tranquil tale is perfect for six- to twelve-year-olds who are drawn to the splendour of the sea. Elements of natural history – such as the way whales breathe – are enfolded into an entrancing narrative that touches on themes of identity and exploration. Evocative phrases place the young reader right in the moment, especially when Cachalot’s voice vibrates ‘like soft thunder through the water’.

Rendered in acrylic paints and watercolour pencils, Plant’s illustrations flow effortlessly across each spread. Shades of azure and teal transition to the deepest midnight blues as Fluke plunges to the bathypelagic zone, allowing the brilliance of bioluminescence to glow on the final few pages.

A stunning ode to the boundless wonders of the sea, Stardiving is ideal for quiet bedtime reading. It inspires kids to stay true to themselves as they seek the glittering gems in their own environment.

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