Mariella and the Stars, by Selena Hanet-Hutchins

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

In a story vaguely reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, Mariella is sent to her room because of misbehaviour.
The night the stars fell from the sky
Mariella had gone too far.
(She knew she had, right before Mum said so.)

Having been told she is not allowed to read, Mariella feels sorry for her behaviour. In the dark room she feelssmall and lost and afraid. That is, until she goes to the window and sees the shooting stars shining and twinkling as they fall from the sky. The stars give Mariella an idea. She attaches the glittery, fallen stars to her slippers. This turns them into tap shoes and she starts to dance to the music inside her. But then Mariella comes to realise it’s not fair to keep the starlight magic to herself.

This is a gentle and delightful story about creative use of imagination as Mariella deals with the consequences of her behaviour and learns to think of others. The text is made more attractive by the whimsical illustrations and brilliant use of colour. The starlit night scenes are particularly attractive and effectively convey the magic of the night.

Mariella and the Stars

Mariella and the Stars, Selena Hanet-Hutchins, Illustrated by Michelle Pike
ABC books, 2009
Hardcover $24.99
Age guide 3+

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