Perfect Picture Book Friday – Star Bright: A Christmas Story

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

I’m excited that it’s December and we finally get to share holiday books 🙂  I have such a sweet book for today!  In past years, I have stuck to books like Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree which, though about Christmas, are not at all religious.  The book I’ve chosen today veers a little closer to the traditional story of Christmas but it’s so beautifully done that I think it’s appropriate for everyone, regardless of religion or belief.  I hope you get a chance to read it!

Title: Star Bright: A Christmas Story
Written By: Alison McGhee
Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds
Atheneum Books For Young Readers, September 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Christmas, the nativity, giving/generosity

Opening: “It was the end of December, and a baby was soon to be born.  A baby!  In the heavens, angels turned light with joy.”

Brief Synopsis: An extra special baby is coming and the newest angel wants to give a present.  But what can she give?  Wind is the sky’s gift.  Rain is the clouds’ gift.  Music is the gift of the songbirds. But when the little angel sees three lost travelers, she knows exactly what to give – the best gift of all!

Links To Resources: share the story of the nativity no matter your personal religion or beliefs – it’s good for kids to know about things that are deeply important to others as well as to themselves and you can share the story of Hanukah etc. too; talk about gifts – what makes a good gift? does it have to be big, extravagant, expensive? what makes a gift really matter to someone?  what kinds of gifts do you like to give and receive?  Make these sugar cookies RECIPE HERE in the shapes of Christmas trees, stars, or whatever else you like 🙂 Make paper stars INSTRUCTIONS HERE; make paper snowflakes INSTRUCTIONS HERE

Why I Like This Book: You know me – I love sweet stories 🙂  And this is one of those stories that tugs at your heartstrings just enough to make it memorable without being overdone.  But what I really love about this book is the creative way it spins the story of the nativity, so that you get the basic idea without anything overtly religious – and that’s quite a feat to have pulled off!  On one level, this is simply a story about a child who wants to give a wonderful gift but doesn’t know what she can offer, and how many children have felt like that?  Her creative solution will inspire young readers to think up their own creative solutions – when it comes to gifts, what can they give that only they can give?  And the art is by Peter H. Reynolds.  Enough said 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a great weekend, everybody!  See you Monday for the Holiday Contest!!!  (For which I have still not written my sample… or even really started thinking about it… details, details :))

35 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Star Bright: A Christmas Story

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    I absolutely love your selection today! I just read the book this week. Peter's illustrations add something very contemporary for kids — that isn't overly religious. Many kids can enjoy this story. Excellent choice!
    Oh my! I can actually respond today! Can't believe I get a chance to see the comment section.
    And, for once my entry is already done for next week's contest.

  2. bgruener says:

    Yay … love Peter Reynolds and love knowing there's another of his shining stars to look out for! And I see that someone picked the same book I did so I'm headed there next to see that review! Happy PPBF, Susanna.

  3. sue heavenrich says:

    I think I'll like “Star Bright” – because one of my favorite books as a kid was the “littlest angel”. I've always had a soft spot for a story about little angels and shiny things.

  4. Teresa Robeson says:

    I've never heard of this one, but I adore Peter Reynold's artwork so know that it will be very cute! Our library is really good about setting aside shelves for each major holiday, so I'm sure I can find this there, unless some little kid with his/her grubby little paws got it before I get there. Hah!

    Happy weekend, Susanna!

  5. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    What a beautiful book, Susanna…I love this season. 🙂 🙂 I'm excited about your upcoming Holiday Contest…I put a blurb in my post today about it…but I know, even without that, you are going to get a TON of entries. 🙂 I hope my post is okay…I didn't do an individual book review, because I thought it would be neat to give my favorites from the ALA Best Books of 2014 list. 🙂

  6. JillSF1959 says:

    I'm digging the threads on that little angel! Looks and sounds very sweet! Great to add to my holiday season reading!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're so funny, Joanne 🙂 And let me just say that you're WAY ahead of me! I haven't even thought about it yet, so I'd be grateful for some chicken scratch. Hmm… chicken scratch… could that be con trued as wild weather in any way…? Santa's team, unable to see where they're going due to the chicken scratch in their eyes? 🙂

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I love this season too, Vivian! I don't really like to sing Christmas carols while out with dogs until after Thanksgiving… but it was so late this year I had to start with a few that were sort of borderline Christmasy… Walking In A Winter Wonderland and Let It Snow 🙂 I have no idea how many entries will turn up – I hope a few because the prizes really are awesome – but Monday is fast approaching and I have yet to write my sample. I detect a theme here… I think this has happened before 🙂 Looking forward to your post… when I eventually get over there 🙂

  9. pennyklostermann says:

    I'm behind! I need to check out last week's PPBF books and today's list. Here it is bedtime and I'm just getting here. And I didn't even add a book this week.
    Star Bright sounds very sweet. Thanks for sharing it. I'm really looking forward to reading the contest entries! Yay!

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Don't worry, Penny! I'm behind too, and I'm not allowed to be! You only have to enjoy what you have time for. Sleep tight 🙂 (And I'm looking forward to the contest too – but I'll be looking forward to it more when my sample is written!)

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