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Stella's Starliner by Rosemary Wells

Rosemary Wells's world is one that I like to visit whenever I get the chance. Wells is a gifted author of children's novels, especially historical fiction, but she is best known for her picture books. She can conjure up a safe and cozy home with her wonderful watercolor illustrations while pointedly capturing the frustrations and elations, sadness and joys of childhood. Check out my review of her book Kindergators for a list of my favorite books she has written and illustrated over her long career. Wells's newest picture book, Stella's Starliner, begins:

And Stella, "had everything she needed in her silver home," including a sofa that turned into a bed at the touch of a button. And, when Stella's daddy comes home on the weekends, they have pancakes for breakfast in their tiny kitchen. On Monday, when her father returns to work, she and her mother walk to town to do their marketing and visit the bookmobile. Back in her silver home, "Stella didn't have a worry in the world." That is, until a group of older weasels tease her, calling her poor.

Stella is brought low by these words, but, sensing something is wrong, her mother snuggles next to her in bed and listens to her tell about the "stinging words." Mama tells Stella to look out the window at the night sky, the hundreds of tiny lights reminding them of the Milky Way. They imagine that Daddy has hitched their silver home onto his truck and they are flying far and away through the night. In the morning, the Starliner has a new spot to call home, and with it new neighborhs. Stella is shy at first, but Grace and Stumpy think her silver home is every bit as special as she does, saying, "You must be a millionaire to live in a silver house!" To which Stella happily replies, "A squillionaire!"

Source: Review Copy


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