Star Blanket

Overview

When Laura goes to bed each night, she loves to hear the story of the Star Blanket. The story begins on the day Dad's baby sister was baptized when he was a little boy, and the family drove in the old green DeSoto down to Saint James Church. Afterwards, when presents were being opened, Laura's dad realized there weren't any for him. But Gram quietly handed him a special package wrapped in tissue: the Star Blanket. Each white star on the deep blue, hand-made blanket represented a family member. Before ...

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Overview

When Laura goes to bed each night, she loves to hear the story of the Star Blanket. The story begins on the day Dad's baby sister was baptized when he was a little boy, and the family drove in the old green DeSoto down to Saint James Church. Afterwards, when presents were being opened, Laura's dad realized there weren't any for him. But Gram quietly handed him a special package wrapped in tissue: the Star Blanket. Each white star on the deep blue, hand-made blanket represented a family member. Before Christmas, Laura's dad had to learn the names for each star, forty-one in all. As a grown-up, he teaches his own daughter to say good-night to all the relatives on the Star Blanket along with him.

Pat Brisson is the author of many well-loved books for children, including Hobbledy Clop and The Summer My Father Was Ten, winner of the Christopher Medal. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Erica Magnus is the author-illustrator of several books for children, including Old Lars and The Boy and the Devil. She lives in Athens, Ohio.

This heartwarming story begins as a father tells his young daughter the story of how a wonderful family tradition began and shows her how to carry on this beautiful custom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The importance of family stories and traditions comes through in this warm tale of Laura and the hand-stitched blanket given to her by her father. The blanket, decorated with 41 stars, was a present to Laura's father from his grandmother on the day his baby sister was baptized. Every night, Laura asks for "the story of the Star Blanket." As Dad tells Laura of his boyhood, he explains that each star stands for a beloved member of his large extended family and, just as he learned to do for family gatherings long ago, he can still recite the name of every grandparent, aunt, uncle and cousin represented by the 41 stars. "When I finished," recalls Dad of his first performance at a Christmas celebration, "everyone clapped, and my Uncle Dave gave me a silver dollar and said, `And see that you don't forget a single one.' " Brisson's (The Summer My Father Was Ten) lyrical prose harmonizes with Magnus's (The Boy and the Devil) radiant, painterly three-quarter spread watercolors, which alternate between breezy snapshots and emotionally intense close-ups (Dad as a boy, enduring some good-hearted teasing in the backseat of the family DeSoto, or sitting in rapt, prayer-like attention at grandma's knee). Just as the star blanket envelops Laura, author and illustrator surround readers in the memories, faith and never-ending love that bonds a family together, generation to generation. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is a special treat for Laura when Dad tucks her in, because that's when she gets to hear the story of her Star Blanket—the special blue blanket with 41 stars that each represent a member of her family. Dad received the blanket when he was a boy, as a gift on his baby sister's baptism day, even though he really would have preferred a pair of cowboy boots. This bedtime story touches on many of the issues of childhood: comfort objects, bedtime routines, receiving unwanted gifts, family traditions, and being the brunt—even the loving brunt—of family stories. Much of the story takes place when Dad was a boy, and children should relate to Laura's delight in hearing stories about her Dad when he was young. The recitation of the stars' names, which all come from relatives, gets a bit long, but enterprising readers could adapt at least some of the names for their individual families. This is a simple, conflict-free story, but with a realism and attention to detail that characterize the best family stories. Lovely watercolors accompany the text. 2003, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 4 to 8.
— Diane Frook
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A cozy bedtime story. When tucking Laura in, Dad tells her the familiar tale of her favorite, worn blanket. When he was four years old, his sister was born and he was jealous of the gifts she received at her christening. His grandmother gave him a very special present that day, a handmade blanket. Each of the 41 stars on it represented a relative, and the last two stood for him and his baby sister. Dad recites all of their names, just as he did before falling asleep as a small boy, and by the time he is finished, Laura is fast asleep. Soft, watercolor illustrations capture the warmth of the large, loving, extended family in this evocative memoir.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A family tale that doesn't quite make the leap from personal memoir to universal bedtime story. Laura has a beloved blanket-deep blue with 41 white stars-and her favorite bedtime story is the one about the star blanket. Her dad tells her that he got the blanket as a gift when his little sister-Laura's Aunt Patty-was baptized. He was grumpy because she got all the presents, until his grandma gave him the star blanket. Each star is named for one of the aunts, uncles, or cousins; his grandma told him if he said goodnight to all of them, he would never have trouble falling asleep. Warm, cozy interiors and styles from the '50s fill the soft, rosy watercolors as dad recounts memories of his childhood for his girl, and she falls asleep under the same family covering. Sweet, but perhaps more for the parents and grandparents than the kids. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563978890
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.74 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Brisson is a winner of a Christopher Award for The Summer My Father Was Ten and has written a number of books for children. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

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