Would you like to wish on a star? Three young children wish on the same star in three different countries on different nights in this clever and beautifully illustrated book by debut author Cox.
In the United States, a boy, wearing dinosaur pajamas and toting a stuffed duck, wants to look at the stars instead of going to bed. His mother allows him to study the night sky, and he spots the brightest star—the wishing star. He makes a wish, and just as he is about to tell his mother what he’s wished for, she tells him not to, or his wish won’t come true. The boy then recalls his teacher’s visit to Japan, and he asks his mother if a boy there is wishing on the star, too. She tells him it isn’t night in Japan, introducing young readers to the idea of time zones, but she bets when it is night, a Japanese boy will wish on the same star. Turn the page, and a young Japanese boy with striped pajamas and a stuffed panda goes through the same process with the wishing star. This boy’s teacher visited Germany, so he asks about a German boy’s wish. Soon after, a little German boy with blue pajamas and a stuffed rabbit looks at the star and wonders if an American boy will make a wish on it as well. Cox introduces the words for “good night” in three languages (including English, where the pronunciation provided is unnecessary, as those are not among the most challenging words in the book). Unfortunately, the transliteration provided for the Japanese (usually “oyasuminasai”) is misspelled (“oyasminasai”), and the suggested German pronunciation (“goo-tah-naht”) is missing the “ch” sound. Still, the concept of the children’s thoughts about children in other countries is charming, and Hallman’s subtly shaded illustrations, with her large-headed, big-eyed, wide-smiling children, are delightful. The stuffed animals and the dinosaur-covered pillowcase of the American boy add lovely, authentic details to the boys’ rooms.
A calm, imaginative bedtime story with a few bumps along the way.