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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
Étoile by Richard Aab introduces us to a brightly glowing, optimistic little star who has just been created by Mother Universe. Madalyn McLeod’s shimmering illustrations bring to life this star’s journey through the huge cosmos of space in her hopes of getting to the center of Mother Universe. As little Étoile is watched from afar by her benevolent creator, she’s sure she knows what her own goals are— to become a Big Star, an advanced star, and to reach the center. Gradually, as little planets are drawn into her orbit and claim her as their star, her priorities start to change. Is it possible that she has become a Big Star without even knowing it?
Richard Aab’s book is easy to fall in love with and to read again and again. Accompanied by quiet streams of lavender, pink, and yellow in the lovely artwork, Étoile’s story is simple, beautiful and true. It can double as a way to introduce kids to the structure of the solar system while also using the planet/sun relationship to celebrate motherhood and explain to kids how very valuable they are in the life of their parent. One of the strongest points is the similarity the parent-figure—Étoile—has to kids, making her an instant way to communicate. She spends the whole book striving to grow up and become a Big Star, just as kids eagerly set out on their journey of life, and her emotions aren’t so different from those of the little planets even though she seems so much bigger to them. An excellent storybook for bonding time and an enchanting tale of love and wisdom.