by Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by Joan Paley
Henry Holt & Company, 2011
ISBN # 9780805090734
A reviewer obtained a copy of this book from the Southern Maine Library District's examination collection.
Halfmann eloquently tells the story of Sea Star, a common starfish of Pacific Coast in Star of the Sea. Readers will enjoy the narrative form as Sea Star encounters predators, hunts for limpets and mussels, and gets stranded on the shore leaving her vulnerable to passing sea gulls. The author weaves facts into the story while using figurative language and descriptions that young readers will appreciate.
"Like a circus acrobat, she folds over two of her rays
and grips the rocky shore with her sticky feet."
Paley uses vibrant colors and varied textures created by hand-painted paper collage illustrations to complement the story perfectly. The transition from aqua background to speckled yellow and gray pages will help young readers follow the story as the setting changes from underwater to the sandy shore.
Additional facts about sea stars are included at the end of the book, however the target audience (K-3 readers) will probably need help from adults in reading the dense supplemental text.
Star of the Sea would be an ideal book for a science unit on oceans or tide pools or for early readers who are interested in animals and nature.