Friday, January 4, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday

TitleThe Stars Will Still Shine
Author/Illustrator: Cynthia Rylant/ Tiphanie Beeke
Publisher/Date: Harper Collins Publishers /2005
Genre/Audience: Fiction/4+
Themes: New Year, comfort, security

Opening: "this new year... the sky will still be there/ the stars will still shine/ birds will fly over us/ church bells will chime"

Synopsis: From Booklist - As a new year begins, this luminous picture book looks forward to the blessings the year will bring and celebrates the continuity of good things in life. Rylant's poem begins and ends with the verse "the sky will still be there / the stars will still shine / birds will fly over us / church bells will chime." In between, the short verses rejoice in everyday miracles, from blooming flowers and sleeping kittens to peaches, ice cream, and cozy homes, a litany of comforting images expressed with simplicity and grace. Rather than following one set of people throughout the book, the illustrations feature a multiracial cast of characters in small groups as they spend time together. Settings vary from rural to urban and from open spaces, such as a community garden, to more intimate settings, such as the family dinner table. Beeke's artwork glows with color and light, creating a series of very different scenes, united by the style of illustration and the spirit of the work. A reassuring picture book for young children. Carolyn Phelan

Why I Love This Book:
This is a beautiful book for the new year, filled with the comfort of constants in nature and family. The text is cyclical, starting at the edges of the horizon, zooming in to the warmth of family and love, and then spreading out again to nature's wonders and an allusion to love and comfort from a higher power with the reference to church bells. With the Sandy Hook tragedy still fresh and raw, I found this New Year's poem especially reassuring. The text is sparse and lyrical, and the illustrations are soft and inviting. Children will snuggle up to this cozy read.

4th grade literacy ideas

Take a nature walk. Keep a notebook of observations throughout the year. Notice seasonal constants.

Use the illustrations in this book as writing prompts. Pick an illustration that speaks to you and tell its story.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. Oh, this really sounds like a beautiful read. Loved what you shared. It would be a good book to read any time, but particularly after a loss or separation. Life goes on. Thank you for the recommendation. I like some of Cynthia Rylant's other books.

  2. This author's name is familiar ... I know I've got one of her other books. Thanks for the lead on this one; it sounds lovely!


  3. This looks like a very lovely book. I enjoy Ms Rylant's stories. A very compelling review -- I think I will look for this book! Thanks!

  4. This book sounds so lovely and comforting, Laura! As the mom of leg-hugger, change-fearer, homebody, I know how important these books are and I'm so glad to be adding this one to our list. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I am always on the lookout for a good New Year's - the rhythm of the year - book to read to my k-kids. Might have just found it. thanks

  6. I have tons of Christmas books, but not a single New Year's one. I think I need to add this one to my collection.

  7. This sounds really lovely - especially your 'Why I Love...'comment!

  8. Sounds wonderful. I think more books should be written for the New Year.