Malhotra’s debut book for young readers offers a sweet story about a
star who falls in love.
Like a traditional fairy tale, this book begins with a princess and her
father, the king. The twist is that the princess, Shine, is a young star, and
her father, Prime Ray, is a celestial being who rules the universe.
Despite having everything she can possibly want, Shine is filled
with loneliness. With the help of her magical guardian, Zydaar, she
searches the cosmos for what she might be missing. Her gaze happens to fall on
Earth and an enchanted forest where tiny elfin creatures called Poofys live;
each has a distinct “poof” of hair on his head, sharp teeth and slight limbs.
Protected by a fairy spell and watched over by an ancient being who’s taken the
form of a jaguar, the Poofys have gone undetected by humans who live nearby. As
a result, their world is an innocent paradise in which the most dangerous
threat is a rain shower. One of the Poofys, Goom’pa, catches Shine’s eye, and
she’s overcome by love. Illustrations would have greatly enhanced the text, as
it may be difficult for readers to visualize the Poofys and the other
characters. However, the Poofys’ misadventures will make entertaining bedtime
reading for younger kids, who will be tickled by their silly names, such as
D’uh and Sadsak. The cutesiness of their antics, as they spend their days searching
for “munchies,” taking “nappies” and suffering “bonkies,” may soon wear thin
for older readers, though. Although there are hints that the Poofys may
encounter trouble if they stray from their community, this is a gentle story with no real conflict. Even when the stars
confront power struggles in their celestial realm, which promises more
excitement, the situations are generally nonthreatening and quickly resolved.
Goom’pa and Shine are guaranteed a happily-ever-after ending, but it’s one that
promises more adventures to follow.
A generally charming, if sometimes overly sweet, bedtime story for children.