Hopper and Wilson, two stitched-up, stuffed toys (an elephant and a mouse), sit on their dock with their pet cactus looking at the stars and decide to bring one home for a night light.
With their paper airplane flight-ready, filled up with lemonade for fuel, they blast off. Adult readers might scratch their heads, baffled, but most children will drift along with the velvety narration, nodding, eager to join the two buddies up there amid the constellations. Familiarity with their first far-fetched adventure, Hopper and Wilson (2011), might make the first few moments of this journey less bumpy. Soft watercolors ease readers right into their celestial trip, however, mapping a starry sky through full-bleed saturations of dark blues and plum purples, dotted with twinkling whites and citrus-y yellows. Paper textures surface occasionally when the watercolors thin out, adding varying depths and a cirrus quality to the outer-space atmosphere. A walk to the dark side of the moon brings an acutely frightening moment for both Wilson and any sensitive reader who’s been lost. Luckily, the buddies’ special star, the one they planned to take home, helps orient the little guy and direct him back to his friend. His tiny, mousy voice, Hopper’s huge, comforting hug and all that bruised blackness make their reunion poignant and personal.
An amusingly absurd adventure that shines starlight on empathy and friendship. (Picture book. 4-8)