Recently, author Anthony DeStefano sent me a copy of his newest book, Little Star.
When I first received it and flipped through the pages I enjoyed the story, but wasn’t sure how M would react to it. Little Star is ignored by the other, bigger stars, and he is sad. My tender-hearted boy is normally made very sad by things like this. And Little Star burns so brightly on Christmas Eve night as baby Jesus is born, that he finally gets the attention of the other stars, but it’s only because they are concerned that he will burn himself out (another thing I thought M might find sad or scary).
On Christmas morning Little Star is indeed gray and almost all burned out.
As many of you know we have had several losses this year – the death of a dog (not ours, but one M was firmly attached to and loved), the death of a great-grandma, an uncle, and a family friend – and too often this past year, death has been the topic of conversation in our home and on the mind of our sweet little boy. I had hoped to spare him the experience of losing someone he loves for a few years, but the lesson came in a flood of losses and has been a bit more than any of us can handle well.
So, I was worried about what kind of effect this story would have on M in light of this past year, and what, at times, has been his obsession with sadness and death.
He was very sad for Little Star when he was ignored by the other stars, and his eyes got a little teary when Little Star burned himself out. BUT. But, the ending of the book was beautiful and somehow it was exactly what M needed to hear, and obviously met some need for understanding within him.
Little Star does burn out, but he is not gone. He had such an important job to do and he did it so well, keeping baby Jesus warm with his light all night, that he will always be remembered as the most important star ever. Giving one’s life, and light, for God and something important is never sad or meaningless, but is a wonderful thing to do, and something that is greatly rewarded.
I’m not sure exactly how M internalized this message, but it obviously struck a chord with him. He wanted to read it “again” and “again”, something he hasn’t asked for much since he was a toddler. Since he has been able to talk, he’s told everyone that his favorite book ever is Corduroy, by Don Freeman. Now he says he has a new favorite – Little Star! Coming from M, that is high praise, and definitely a recommendation of this sweet book. :)
I received a free copy of this book in return for writing a review about it. This did not influence my opinion, and I was not obligated to write a positive review. We honestly love this book! :)
We also loved his book, This Little Prayer of Mine:
Have a beautiful day! :)