Saturday 14 October 2023

My Little Star

My Little Star by Rory H. Mather and Matt Shanks (Scholastic) HB RRP $26.99 ISBN: 9781761294501

Reviewed by Kellie Nissen

The night sky, with its twinkling stars, holds fascination for many children and adults alike. For some, it’s the science, the world of astronomy – planets, meteors, the sun, stars. For others, it’s the mythology – the stories, rituals, and cultural beliefs around space. For many, it’s the magic – the fantasy and the mystique of a different world.

For Rory H. Mather, the author of My Little Star, the stars in the night sky represent connection, a memory of loved ones gone too soon.

Through a series of gentle and reflective poems – and warm, soft, beautiful illustrations by Matt Shanks – My Little Star gives voice to an array of children who are dealing with the death of their siblings.

In turn, each child tells the reader that their brother or sister ‘is a star’, then goes on to share what this means to them – their star is someone to watch, to feel safe with, to feel happiness for and to feel safe with. Above all, their star will always be there and will never be forgotten.

The hope and love in the beautifully crafted, yet simple words will bring tears and then comfort to readers young and old as they deal with their own grief and create a special place for memory.

My Little Star is a huge departure from the fun, playful stories we’ve come to expect from Rory H. Mather. This is writing that comes from deep in the heart, which is what makes it so very special. Matt Shanks was the perfect choice as an internationally renowned illustrator whose characters you just want to pick up and cuddle.

Everyone, at some stage of their life, is touched by grief and loss. And everyone deals with these emotions in their own way. My Little Star offers a way for readers of all ages, 3 years and above, to accept their grief, reflect and remember.  

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