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A NET OF STARS by Jennifer Richard Jacobson


by Jennifer Richard Jacobson & illustrated by Greg Shed

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8037-2087-4
Publisher: Dial

A child finds a way to get past her fear of heights in this sensitive, well-knit episode. When the carnival sets up nearby, Etta announces that this is the year that she will ride the Ferris wheel. In a preliminary test of her resolve, she climbs to the top of the chicken coop, and is frozen by the deep, empty sky. Later, at the carnival, she joins her older brother and sister aboard the ride, but only for a moment. That night, her sister Fiona shows her the constellations, and that proves to be the key; on the following night Etta rides the wheel alone, and sees the stars as a safety net. Jacobson conveys a realistic sense of Etta’s vertigo, as well as a credible tactic for dealing with it. In Shed’s hazy, golden-toned paintings, the carnival and the farm children are washed in summery light; Etta’s intense satisfaction is written across her face in the penultimate scene, and readers will feel it with her. (Picture book. 5-7)