Star of the Week

Overview

Now in paperback— An earnest hamster’s moment in the spotlight is less than stellar - until a squiggly little line and a big burst of imagination let his true talents shine.

Stanley Birdbaum is one happy hamster. It’s his turn to be Star of the Week at school! He’s ready to share his favorite food, his favorite toy, and, most of all, his favorite thing to do. Unfortunately, the week doesn’t quite go as planned. His favorite food is, well . . . unusual. His favorite toy? It seems...

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Overview

Now in paperback— An earnest hamster’s moment in the spotlight is less than stellar - until a squiggly little line and a big burst of imagination let his true talents shine.

Stanley Birdbaum is one happy hamster. It’s his turn to be Star of the Week at school! He’s ready to share his favorite food, his favorite toy, and, most of all, his favorite thing to do. Unfortunately, the week doesn’t quite go as planned. His favorite food is, well . . . unusual. His favorite toy? It seems to be on the fritz. And sharing his favorite thing to do is scary, what with everyone staring and that bratty Polly Seedeater making mean remarks. But with a little encouragement from a good friend, Stanley summons his courage and gets his creative juices flowing. Now that’s star power!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As with Crazy Hair Day, the first caper starring Stanley Birdbaum, the earnest young hamster finds that what should be a positive experience starts off as anything but, in Star of the Week by Barney Saltzberg. "It's my turn to share my favorite things," he excitedly announces to his mother. But his classmates don't share his fondness for his favorite snack (tofu bologna, cream cheese and jelly with pickles on pumpernickel) and they laugh at his favorite toy. Saltzberg ends on an uplifting note, conveying the importance of tolerance of others and persistence. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Keri Collins
When Stanley finds out he is the star of the week for his class, his excitement propels him home as if on wings. He and his mom prepare his favorite snack to share with his fellow students, and he eagerly anticipates other much-awaited star-of-the-week duties: sharing his favorite toy and his favorite thing to do. But Stanley's first experience is less than stellar, as no one eats his tofu bologna, cream cheese, and jelly-with-pickles sandwiches on pumpernickel bread! Polly Seedeater's constant heckling pushes Stanley to the limit as his robot falls apart, and he freezes when he stands up in front of the class to demonstrate his favorite thing to do—draw. With a little encouragement from a friend, Stanley turns an embarrassing situation into a learning experience for himself and his classmates, simultaneously introducing squiggle drawings to a new generation of apprehensive artists. The familiar role of student of the week and its attendant anxieties will appeal to young readers, and Stanley's experiences provide a good springboard into discussions about how words, even if they are intended to be funny, can hurt someone's feelings. Saltzberg's exuberant and colorful illustrations convey Stanley's roller-coaster emotions, and the humorous text makes this a sure hit to read aloud to younger audiences.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Stanley Birdbaum's delight over his designation as star of the week-his turn to share his favorite things-fades quickly. His classmates don't like his tofu bologna, cream cheese, and pickle sandwiches. His toy robot falls apart as Stanley tries to display its tricks. Polly Seedeater's negative comments so unnerve him that he almost can't demonstrate his artistic talents. Fortunately, some heartening words from his best friend give Stanley the encouragement he needs to turn a squiggle into a funny drawing and start a class fad. Saltzberg's amusing illustrations and clean design enhance the book's read-aloud potential. The spread of Stanley's panicked expression before he has to draw in front of the class perfectly captures the stage fright that almost everyone has experienced. Those who enjoyed Stanley's first outing, Crazy Hair Day (Candlewick, 2003) will welcome this return visit to Mr. Winger's classroom. However, this new book can also stand on its own as an exploration of familiar school interactions.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stanley, Saltzberg's plucky hamster from Crazy Hair Day (2003) fame, returns to cope with the perils of performance anxiety and other grade-school angst in this wryly comical tale. Absolutely thrilled to share his favorite foods, toys and activities with his classmates, Stanley eagerly anticipates his turn as "Star of the Week." To his utter dismay, Stanley's tofu-bologna-cream-cheese-jelly-pumpernickel sandwiches are a sad flop, as is his unintentionally self-destructing robot. With his bubble of joy burst, Stanley lacks the courage to share his love of artistry with the class. However, when his bossy nemesis Polly mocks his squiggle drawing, Stanley rises to the challenge. Saltzberg adroitly addresses a common school-age scenario with compassion and also a hearty dose of panache. His droll, ink and acrylic full-color drawings are fabulously expressive, neatly capturing Stanley's ever-fluctuating emotions. While readers can identify with Stanley's plight, Saltzberg gives them a little comic relief from the emotional turmoil involved with growing pains of the social sort. Stanley is truly the champion of the underdog-or hamster, as the case may be. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763630768
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 385,408
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

BARNEY SALTZBERG is the author-illustrator of CRAZY HAIR DAY, the first book about Stanley Birdbaum. He is also the author-illustrator of CORNELIUS P. MUD, ARE YOU READY FOR BED? and many other titles. About STAR OF THE WEEK, he says, "I have found that making squiggle drawings is a great way to take people who don’t necessarily think that they can draw and watch them start making art! It’s a nonthreatening way to open the door to drawing. As for Stanley, once he had a pen in his hand, it was satisfying to see how he turned what seemed like a potentially disastrous moment into something positive."
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