Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blog Tour: Little Star (Review)

 “I think I understand!” Little Star cried out. “The baby Jesus is a king! He’s just little!”

A king is about to be born! The stars in the heavens are competing to shine the brightest to celebrate his birth. But when they see the poor family, the donkey, the shabby stable, the stars all think, That can’t possibly be a king. We’ve been fooled.

All except one. The smallest, loneliest star in the sky, Little Star, is the only one to understand what the king was about to bring to the world. But what can Little Star do for him?

Certain to become a Christmas classic, this delightful tale connects the star atop our Christmas trees to the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, in the hearts and minds of young children.


What I Thought
Looking for a new way to tell the Christmas story? Then consider picking up Anthony DeStefano's newest children's book, Little Star.

I jumped at a chance to review this book for two reasons
- 1) I love picture books. I think the mixture of beautiful images and words can be very powerful. I love adding to my collection!
- 2) I wanted to see if this would be a book I could use during either a Christmas children's event at church, or maybe - depending upon length - a possible children's sermons.

I had hoped it would arrive earlier than it did (it appeared thanks to UPS on Christmas eve). So I haven't had a chance to read it to any of the kidlets in my world, just to myself.

What I Found:
This book is beautiful. Mark Elliot, the illustrator, has done a spectacular job bringing the story to life.

DeStefano's story is simple and sweet. At first reading, it seemed a bit, well, too simple. Then after watching an interview with the author (see it below), and listening to the meaning he put into crafting the story, I read it again with new eyes.

This story focuses on Little Star, the "tiny" star in the heavens, and how he gave of himself to shine a light on the Holy Family on the night of Jesus' birth. Sub themes include being true to yourself, despite your size (a good message for kids who don't "fit in" to the "main" crowd; as well as doing what you believe in, regardless of the consequences.

Overall, I can see myself using this next Christmas with the kids I work with. It's short enough, I could read it as a children's time on a Sunday before Christmas - and pass out stars to help them remember the tale. I could also see sharing it with a child as a December bedtime story.

The story, according to DeStefano, was crafted during his high school English class. It may, as the publisher's suggest, become one of those Christmas books you pull out each year, to share with children, and grandchildren, alike.

More About The Author & Illustrator
Anthony DeStefano has received may prestigious awards from religious organizations throughout the world for his efforts to advance Christian beliefs in modern culture. These include an honorary doctorate from the National Clergy Council and the Methodist Episcopal Church's Joint Academic Commission, as well as the "Defender of Israel" medal from the Jerusalem Center for Peace Studies, conferred on him in 2003.

He is the CEO of a Catholic not-for-profit organization; he lives in Long Island with his wife, Kimberly, a kindergarten teacher.
For more info, visit: http://www.anthonydestefano.com/

Mark Elliott is the illustrator of many picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine's ever-popular Princess Tales series. He lives in New York State's Hudson River Valley.

You can see samples of his artwork here: http://markelliott.artroof.com/

Online Resources
Buy Little Star at Amazon

Read an online excerpt of Little Star here!

See more interviews related to Little Star here!

Fox News Interview -- Anthony DeStefano talks about Little Star



Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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