Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…