My House Has Stars

My House Has Stars

by Megan McDonald, Peter Catalanotto

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McDonald (Is This a House for Hermit Crab?) turns to geography here, showing vastly different houses from around the world which all have one feature in common: the "roof" of stars that hangs over them. Eight colorful, dense vignettes feature a child describing his or her home ("My house has walls made of sheep's wool and a real door in the front of the tent that squeaks like a crybaby"). The "tour" of each dwelling, be it houseboat, igloo, skyscraper, yurt, etc., concludes with a reference to the stars above; for example, a child in a pueblo says, "I see stars, like tiny handprints, where Coyote scattered the mica dust and stars were born!" Unexplained facts and referents abound, tantalizing readers but also likely to frustrate them: What is a jeepney? Why does the Weaver Princess star go to meet the Ox Boy star? Catalanotto's (Who Came Down That Road?) diffused watercolors show the children in their environments. Facing art, beneath the blocks of text, clues readers into the characters' locations: a hazy map of the world, with the child's homeland circled. The impressionistic style of the pictures suggests as much as it represents. Unfortunately, this approach exacerbates the gaps left in the vignettes. At best this is a lyrical invitation to a scavenger hunt on the reference shelf; otherwise it is essentially a cliff-hanger. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4Children from widely different cultures have one thing in commonall of their homes have a view of the night sky. From the roof of his mud-walled house in Nepal, Akam sees stars; Carmen watches them from her houseboat in the Philippines; Abu sees the night sky from his village in Ghana; Mariko looks out of paper windows from her house in Japan. In an adobe pueblo, Chili can see the stars when he climbs to his flat rooftop; Oyun sees the heavens above her yurt in the Mongolian desert; Sergio goes out on the roof of his Brazilian city skyscraper to see the night sky, and Mattie views the winter night from her igloo in Alaska. The concept of one earth, one sky unfolds in poetic imagery embracing the universality of people everywhere: "Our house, the earth. Our roof, the sky." Full-page watercolor paintings in soft, misty colors reflect the awesome quality of the universe as viewed by youngsters throughout the world.Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A book that celebrates the uniqueness of each culture and the ties that bind humans together. Readers are introduced to children in eight very different settings: Alaska, Mongolia, Ghana, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil, Nepal, and the American Southwest. The children speak of elements in their lives that mark them as distinctive: a story vine in Ghana, prayer flags in Nepal, a Mongolian yurt. Whether it is a mud hut or an urban skyscraper, all the children have homes, and all of them enjoy their all-embracing star-strewn roof, one that caps every house on Earth. McDonald (Insects Are My Life, 1995, etc.) loads as much detailed information as she can into the pages, mingling physical facts of the culture with mythical ones. In contrast, Catalanotto's watercolors are soft-edged and liquid. There is only a semblance of discontinuity between text and image, in their pursuit of mood, with McDonald's wealth of information vying to hitch a ride on poetically ephemeral paintings. On the whole, this is a successful expression of the fundamental link between the very particular and the most universal.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 10.97(h) x 0.16(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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