May the 4th Be With You!…a galaxy of starry books

In honor of Star Wars Day coming up on the 4th, here are five glittering choices:

stars cover image

Stars, by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Marla Frazee
published in 2011 by Beach Lane Books

This tender exploration of stars is sweet, meandering, childlike, glowing with wonder, touched with empathy, redolent with innocence and community.

stars illustration marla frazee

It’s a bit like A Tree is Nice…for stars. And that’s saying something. Marla Frazee’s delicate lines and tints,  and her down-home figures of this cast of multicultural children are the perfect, graceful accompaniment. Such a treat, for ages 2 and up.

twinkle twinkle little star cover image

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, by Jane Cabrera
first published in Great Britain; first American edition 2012 by Holiday House

One of the most well-loved nursery rhymes gets some additional verses in this darling book for toddlers.

twinkle twinkle little star interior jane cabrera

Not only does that star twinkle, it sparkles, flickers, shimmers, and glistens all over the world, while animal babies and their mommies from the arctic to the oceans, in forests and jungles, watch and wonder. Jane Cabrera’s jolly, bright illustrations will delight children ages One and up.

my friend the starfinder cover image

My Friend, the Starfinder, by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Stephen Gammell
published in 2008 by Atheneum

In a sweetly-intergenerational tale, one little gal and her dear friend — an old man who sits in an old chair on his old green porch wearing his soft old clothes — enjoy folksy togetherness while he regales her with stories. 

my friend the starfinder illustration stephen gammell

Stories of stars falling to earth and rainbows washing him in color. Stories so amazing, it isn’t any wonder he’s got to tell ’em! Whimsical and dear. Stephen Gammell’s illustrations drip and slosh with color, and his quirky human figures bulge and frump just the way real folks do. Ages 3 and up.

nora's stars cover image

Nora’s Stars, written and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa
originally published in Japan; first American edition 1989 by Philomel Books

This is a blast from the past, a charming, imaginative story we enjoyed when my kids were small. Satomi Ichikawa became one of our beloved illustrators as we found our way from this story to her Tanya series with Patricia Lee Gauch. She is worth the finding!

nora's stars illustration satomi ichikawa

Nora is visiting her grandmother in her beautiful country house set amidst lovely gardens. Little wonder that her imagination is sparked, and when she heads to bed a magical night journey transpires, right up into the stars. In fact, she brings all the stars home to play with. But is that such a good arrangement? Pure charm, especially for little girls, ages 4 and up.

hopper and wilson fetch a star cover image

Hopper and Wilson Fetch a Star, written and illustrated by Maria Van Lieshout
published in 2014 by Philomel Books

Hopper is an elephant. Wilson is a mouse. These two are best buddies. One night, while gazing up at the starry sky, they decide it would be dandy to head on up and fetch a star for their own. It could be a swell nightlight, to be sure.

hopper and wilson fetch a star interior maria van lieshout

Zoom along into the night skies with these intrepid friends as they search for just the right star and manage a momentary space emergency!  It’s a cheery tale, illustrated with darling, friendly figures and dazzling nighttime color. Ages 2 and up.


My name is Han Solo, and I approve of these books.