The Star Jumped Over the Moon

Familius. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781641705769.
PreS-Gr 1–A small star inexplicably finds himself in a nest on a branch in an apple tree in a green field. The star resides there through the seasons, as the leaves turn color and eventually fall to the ground below. One spring day, four strangers arrive with saws and cut the tree down. Star realizes that the time has come for him to attempt to reach the moon. The star takes a leap and finds himself up and over the moon, where he dances happily. The language in this story is overwrought and somewhat treacly. The tree is referred to as “a shiny red apple tree”—apples are red, not the tree itself. The star is described as “pondering” out loud. As in many stories, this is anchored with a repetitive phrase, but here—“Rooted upon an old field of green”—it is used even after the tree is cut down. No tree cutters are shown in the illustrations, making it difficult for young children to understand exactly what is going on. In the end, the star is finally able to jump over the moon, but with no explanation of how that is accomplished. The illustrations are strong for a fantasy story.
VERDICT This book wants to encourage children to shoot for the moon, but there is nothing to show how that can be done either factually or fantastically.

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