The Stars Just Up the Street

Publisher: Walker Books

Mabel loves the stars: she can count a few in the sky from her bedroom window if it’s not cloudy, but not nearly as many as her grandfather says he could see in the countryside where he grew up. Curious, Mabel and her grandfather walk up to the hill at the top of the road and look at the stars there – there are definitely more, but still not thousands.

When Mabel asks everyone in the street to turn their house lights off, she and her neighbours marvel at the wonderful stars they can see – but the street lights are still blocking out a lot of the stars. What can be done? Perhaps Mabel’s appeal to the childhood memories of the Mayor will be the key to a new community tradition.

There is a message here about urban light pollution which could prompt some interesting conversations with older children, but also this is a lovely picture book with beautiful pen and ink colour illustrations which reminds us of the joy of taking time out to do quiet things like look at the stars. The relationship between Mabel and her grandfather is lovely, and it’s his memory of a countryside childhood filled with star-laden skies that prompts Mabel’s quest for the same. Perfect for bedtime.

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