Star in the Forest
by Kellock, Helen

On the first evening of vacation at their grandparents' cottage, Pip is content to relax while watching the evening stars appear as the sky darkens. Maisie, however, is eager to have an adventure, so when something bright lights up the forest beyond the cabin, she rushes out to investigate. Her cautious older sister is not sure this is a good idea, but she follows her sibling anyway. The woods at night are very different from the day, and the girls encounter various animals as they search for whatever caused the flash, as watercolor illustrations reveal the dark forest lit only by Maisie's flashlight. The outer edges of the pictures are dark, but the flashlight allows readers to view foxes, squirrels, owls, and other curious critters. Kellock draws human faces with no outlines but clear features, using negative space to create the illusion of bright light emanating from the pages. Readers will wonder what the girls will find and also what excitement awaits them on the second day of their vacation. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

An energetic young girl's thirst for adventure leads to an unexpected (but not unwelcome) outcome. Maisie and her older sister, Pip, are visiting their grandparents in a wooded region depicted in muted watercolor swaths of blue-grays, green-browns, and golden yellow-browns that mingle amid sketchy pencil lines. Both girls love stargazing, but Maisie would prefer a "SPECTACULAR adventure"—and she gets one after seeing a "bright flash" of pink and yellow in the sky. Vignettes capture Maisie's eagerness to head outside as she pulls a sweater over her head and runs full tilt off the page, flashlight in hand. The book's large trim size accommodates both further vignettes of the sisters bravely making their way through the dark woods and rich double-page spreads surveying the girls from a distance through the eyes of foxes, owls, and other woodland creatures as they approach the site of the mysterious flash. When they reach it, Maisie's quick to feel disappointed, but Pip's careful examination yields an exciting discovery that helps Maisie appreciate the full events of the ir evening. Both the illustrations and plot are favorably reminiscent of Beatrice Alemagna's modern yet whimsical forays into nature and the transformations that occur from unhurried, focused observation. All humans depicted are short and round with fluffy hair, pointy noses, and skin the color of the uncoated white pages. A charming, gorgeously illustrated ode to sisterhood, adventure, and mindfulness. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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