Hello, Star

Publisher: Puffin

One night, a little girl looks up at the sky and notices a light that is brighter than the rest of the stars. When her mum explains that the light comes from a star that is dying, the little girl feels sad for it. Every night, she goes to her window and reassures the star that she’s watching – and, as the girl gets older, she realises that she wants to get as close as she can to the star, and understand as much as she can about the mysteries of space.

Finally, as an adult and now an astronaut, the young woman stands on the moon and speaks to the star that has become like a friend to her after all these years.

This is a beautiful picture book for older readers – ideally for 6-8 year olds – about a young girl who becomes an astronaut, but there’s more than just space facts here. As author Stephanie Lucianovic explains in her end note, the story was inspired by her son’s surprising empathy for a dying star, and that loving feeling for the universe is reflected in Hello, Star, a surprisingly moving book.

The star inspires a young black girl to follow a career in science and space, but it also inspires a beautiful sense of wonder and caring about the natural world; something many children share. As much as being a story about aspiration, Hello, Star captures something of the magic and mystery of space, and a sense of how all of us are connected: even a giant blue supernova and a small girl. A truly lovely book.

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