My little star by Mark Sperring
Ill. by Nicola O'Byrne. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408849613
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Animals, Bedtime story. At the end of the day when the moon rises, the stars appear and children are about to go to sleep, the time is ripe for a soft and gentle story to be read aloud to the child, leading them toward closing their eyes. The rhyming lines are told using the gentlest of words, lulling the child into a dreamy state as they hear just how precious they are to their parents.
Each double page shows a different animal and its cub, settling down to sleep, underlining the words in the poem. Lions, koalas, seals, tigers, elephants, penguins all figure in this lovely book, and they are all presented in a nurturing role with their offspring. Younger children will adore seeing the animals and their babies, and see themselves as part of the bigger picture of a child going to sleep.
The refrain in the poem tells the child just how precious they are to the adult, a star.
The warm, cosy feeling generated by the illustrations adds to the comforting lilt of the poem as it is read, and the information shown ensures it will be read again at other times than bedtime.
O'Byrne's illustrations are entrancing, speaking of the love and care between animals and their offspring, including in the background of the picture many touches of the environment in which these animals live.
A loving bedtime story.