YOU ARE A STAR by Ariella Abolaffio


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A yellow snakelike squiggle transforms itself into all kinds of shapes to express different emotional experiences.

In this small, square book, marketed as a gift book and resembling an extended greeting card, the ever changing yellow shape with its black-dot eye takes center stage, popping in the black-and-white drawings. Starting with a dull urban, black-and-gray crowd scene of adult people and anthropomorphized animals, including a giraffe with a tie and perhaps a woman with a sharp nose, the opening text reads: “The world is a big and varied place. There are so many things to be and do.” The page turn reveals the busy feet of those beings, some with shoes, others with paws or hooves. Suddenly, the yellow squiggle appears amid these detached legs, and the words get personal: “Sometimes you can feel a bit lost.” Mundane self-realization advice is offered in the next spreads, perhaps suitable for a graduate or someone starting a new phase of life but not particularly child-oriented. When the squiggle changes itself into earmuffs, the text reads: “Be there for others,” and then on the next spread, as the shape becomes a staircase with two human legs descending, “but don’t let anyone put you down.” Finally, against a black sky filled with smaller stars, the squiggle becomes the large outline of a star, and the commonplace recommendation reads: “Always remember you are a star, and you’ll soon find your place in the world.”

An unnecessary purchase filled with platitudes. (Picture book. 8-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61067-813-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2018


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