CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 28 . . . . March 23, 2012
A raccoon family enjoys an evening under the stars. Baby Ringtail asks his parents if they ever wish upon a star. Mama and Papa Ringtail tell Baby about the wishes they have for his future. Mama hopes her son “will always be curious and open to the wonder of life.” Papa then offers, “My wish on the second star is that you will always love yourself just the way you are and love others the same way.” The parents also hope their son will help friends and family, work and play hard and realize all of his dreams. Baby falls asleep dreaming of a “life blessed under the stars”.
Monique Michaud’s full-page ink and watercolour illustrations show the raccoons’ familial activities that include roasting marshmallows around a campfire, following fireflies and observing the night sky through a telescope. The text is presented in a bordered box on the facing pages. Key words such as “stars”, “wonder”, “strive”, “dreams” are written in the background and appear in bolder script as the book progresses. There are a few inconsistencies in the text and illustrations. While the text talks about “Five wishes on five stars”, the illustrations clearly show six stars in the sky. All of the text pages have a snapshot image that can found in the larger illustration except in a couple of instances.
In an end note, the author describes the book as “All the things you wanted to say to your baby, but were too sleep deprived to remember.” This story offers many sweet sentiments, but without any further explanation or exploration of the themes, they read like a series of clichés. The writing has more of an adult sensibility and seems designed as a gift purchase for new parents.
Recommended with reservations.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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