Book Review: Stardust



Written by Jeanne Willis

Illustrated by Briony May Smith

32 pages

Published by Nosy Crow

Publication date: 7th September 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

One little girl dreams of being a star. But whether it’s finding Mum’s lost wedding ring or winning the fancy-dress prize, her big sister always shines brighter. Yet for her grandad she is a star and, as he dries her eyes and they both gaze up at the night sky, he tells a story, the story of the beginning of the world. Everything and everyone is made of stardust, and we all shine in different ways. It’s a lesson this little girl will never forget …and one day her dream comes true, and she finally realises her ambition to become an astronaut and fly up to the stars.

When I was small, I wanted to be a star.

My sister was a star. Everybody said so. But nobody said it to me.

What a stunning book! I wanted to pick this book up immediately after seeing the title and the cover – it seems that I have a weakness for books with ‘star’ in the title and I really like Briony May Smith’s illustration style as it is so warm and gentle.

I had been wanting to read this for ages so I was really excited to finally see it in my local library on Saturday. I will be getting my own copy and a copy for my classroom!
This is a beautifully-illustrated look at how easy it is to compare yourself to others and only see your own failings rather than your successes and the things that make you special. The little girl in this always feels like her sister outshines her, but her grandfather helps her to see that we all shine in our own ways.
After all, we’re all made from stardust!

“Everyone and everything is made of stardust,” said Grandad. “That’s why even the dullest stones sparkle and shine after the rain.”


What I like: The beautiful illustrations, the positive message, the relationship between the little girl and her grandfather as he shows her the wonders of the world, the little girl achieving her dream and going to space (Girls in STEM, yay!)

Even better if: It’s absolutely perfect as it is, I love it!

How you could use it in your classroom: This would make a lovely addition to any book corner or as a gift to a child. I could imagine reading this with my class to start a discussion about how easy it is to compare ourselves to others when really we just need to compare ourselves yesterday with ourselves today.

(Thank you to my lovely library for having it in stock!)

While you’re here, why not have a look at some reviews for other beautiful picture books with positive messages: Argyle Fox, Shelter, Violet, Erik The Lone Wolf or The Last Tree?

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