A little girl caught in her big sister’s shadow comes to see her inner light.
The text’s unnamed, first-person narrator struggles as the younger sibling to a talented elder sister, whom other family members refer to as a “star.” She wants to be a star, too, but she always seems to come up short. Her big sister wins a costume contest, finds her mother’s lost wedding ring, and knits a scarf without holes. Finally, her grandfather notices the protagonist’s dejection, and he helps her see herself as a star, too. This help arrives, in part, through a science lesson reaching back to the Big Bang that tells her how she, like all living things across time, is literally made of stardust. Illustrations in these scenes fantastically depict the girl accompanied by her grandfather in outer space, under the sea, and so on. This loving interaction allows her to adopt her inner stardust as metaphor for how special she is, a heartfelt connection that the protagonist accepts but that may underwhelm readers. The book’s end, however, reveals that the confidence this understanding inspires propels her to become an astronaut. Throughout, all main characters in the full-bleed illustrations appear white with pale skin, though background characters in a few scenes are depicted as multiracial and multiethnic.
Warm and light. (Picture book. 4-7)