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The Stars Just Up the Street (Hardcover)
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A grandpa’s memories of brilliant night skies inspire a little girl to take action in a tale for budding community organizers and star lovers alike.
Mabel loves stars. She counts five from her window and thirty-seven from her backyard. But her grandfather tells her that, as a child, he could see thousands. Could it be true? Mabel climbs a hill looking for more stars — only to discover that the glow from the nearby town makes them hard to see. What would it take for her neighbors to turn off their lights, just for one night, so that everyone could see the starlit sky? Sue Soltis’s tale of a young activist and Christine Davenier’s luminous illustrations will leave readers curious about the dark-sky movement — and the wonder that is waiting for them just up the street.
About the Author
Sue Soltis is the author of the picture book Nothing Like a Puffin, illustrated by Bob Kolar. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Christine Davenier is the award-winning illustrator of many picture books, including Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still by Karlin Gray and The Cat With Seven Names by Tony Johnston. Christine Davenier lives in Paris.
Graceful, readable text underscores the protagonists' loving relationship. The art—watercolor washes over ink—is a sweet complement, whether portraying daylight excursions or revelers under the increasingly starry sky...It takes a village to control light pollution…gently inspirational.
Davenier (Snowy Race), whose talents seem tailor-made for this material, matches the text’s plainspoken momentum. Animated ink washes capture both Mabel’s earnest determination and the wonder of what means so much to her: a dark night sky of deep blue and lavender, gloriously dotted with stars.
The narrative and dialogue flow quite naturally, and Davenier’s artwork, created with fluid black line drawings and colored inks, is captivating, particularly in the final series of spreads showing the contented townsfolk gazing up at the deep blue, star-spangled sky. An inviting picture book to share with children.
Davenier’s loose-lined, informal ink illustrations are friendly and literally illuminating, with pools of yellow light spilling over the streets and creeping along the horizon...an eye-opening introduction for youngsters to thoughtful pushback against a big manmade change.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The illustrations, done in ink, are soft and dreamy and depict the gradual progression of a sky with few stars to one covered in spectacular light. Readers will be left curious about real-life efforts to enjoy the natural beauty of the night without the interference of manufactured light. A story that inspires all ages to speak up and take action to positively affect the world around them.
—School Library Journal