A sea creature yearns to live in the sky.
Hoshi is a red starfish with little black eyes and white circles on her cheeks. Every night on the beach, she gazes longingly upward, believing that only as a celestial star can she “shine.” As the sun rises and the tide pulls her back into the water, the text is amusingly explicit about what Hoshi’s environment isn’t actually missing: “ ‘I should be floating among the colorful planets,’ Hoshi [thinks], as she float[s] among the colorful coral”; “ ‘Up there, there are exciting and endless possibilities,’ she explain[s] to the exciting, endless schools of minnows.” McDonnell’s two-part message—that Hoshi’s environment has everything she longs for, and that she can “shine” and be happy simply by deciding to, as an anglerfish explains—is hardly original, and Hoshi’s self-pity (“poor little me…a star stuck in the sea”) feels overdone at her expense. However, the artwork—acrylic, pencil, pastel, and ink on plywood—has some lovely aspects. The stars in the sky seem truly luminescent; the “exciting, endless” school of yellow minnows glides alluringly through green water; and, most inventively, Stoop uses the natural wood grain of her plywood base as beach, undersea sand patterns, and ocean currents.
There’s no place like home, even underwater, though the eventual happiness here seems more dictated than organic. (Picture book. 2-5)