STARFALL by Diana Kolpak


by & photographed by
Age Range: 10 - 14
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A story told in photographs that reads like a surreal theater piece for adults.

The lead character is Meera, a clown, with one red eyebrow and one green, a red ball nose and a big smile. “There are no stars to hold up my dreams…,” she says. “I have to wake up the stars.” Instead of stars, it is snowing. She walks through the snow-covered landscape and finds a fortune-telling booth, which tells her to find the Dream Tree, who in turn tells her to “Believe,” “Be brave” and “Shine.” She opens a door, finds the Fire Juggler, outwits the Spinner and learns from the Dreamer that the stars are in her. Meera opens her arms and the stars break free of the ice and melt the winter away. Besides the obvious visual discordance between the lack of stars and the presence of snowflakes (huh? how are these related?), nothing adds up. Since part of the sales go toward “local [Canadian] therapeutic clown programs,” one can assume this is all a metaphor about overcoming illness or fear, but there is nothing but platitude on which to hang any sort of emotional response. The photographs are stark, with the figures placed against broad images of sky, snow, forest and water, illustrating but not illuminating the story.

It is not aimed in any way at children but may find an audience among preteens and teens interested in theater and art photography. (Picture book. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-88995-469-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2012


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