Katie Stewart, Where do the stars go?, Fremantle Press, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760990480
This is Katie Stewart’s second illustrated book for children, and it is gorgeously produced. The full-page beautifully textured illustrations of iconic Australian fauna and flora make the book worth simply looking at before even beginning to read. The big-eyed baby possum is immediately loveable, and the kookaburra, Bungarra (goanna), numbat, galah and rakali (water-rat) make vivid appearances while the text makes a gentle point of respecting local and indigenous names for our native species. Each creature is colourfully and finely textured, almost to the point where you expect them to leap from the page.
The story, presented in bold large print, follows little possum’s desire to know where the stars go to during the day. It is a sweetly poetic text that stretches the reader just enough to bring their imagination into play. This is an illustrated book made especially for Australian children, and at the same time it is a superb example of the potential of the form for inviting readers into a whole world for a short time. A book to treasure and share for children from two to five years.
Highly recommended and great to read aloud.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy