Compliments can help make the world glow a little brighter.
Anthropomorphic Fox and Dog sit together outside enjoying the night together. Fox wonders why some stars seem bigger than others, and Dog posits, “Maybe stars are growing….Just like you and I.” He goes on to speculate that saying nice things to stars could help them grow. “When I give you a compliment, your heart grows. It is the same with stars,” he explains. Fox and Dog decide to think nice thoughts about a star, and lo and behold, it grows bigger and brighter in the night sky, attracting other creatures to look at it. Although it’s not visible in some spreads, the growing star’s light illuminates scenes of the upward-gazing animals. Then: “Suddenly the star shoots through the night” and falls, making Fox and Dog worry that they weighed it down with all their compliments. But the warm glow is now within the woods, leading Dog to assert that their “nice thoughts fell to earth with the star.” Ultimately, the story can’t seem to decide whether or not it wants to function as a metaphor, which ends up undermining its message about the power of affirmations. The illustrations get bogged down with busy patterns in the background, and soft-focus settings feel mismatched with the cheerfully smiling cartoon characters.
Sadly, this one’s difficult to compliment. (Picture book. 3-6)