Stella's Starliner by Rosemary Wells, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Stella's Starliner
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Stella's Starliner

by Rosemary Wells
     
 

Though she is teased about her silver trailer home, a little girl never loses sight of life’s true gifts in Rosemary Wells’s sensitive, ultimately uplifting story.

Stella lives in a sparkling home on wheels that’s as silver as a comet in the sky. Inside are lots of cupboards and hiding places, and even a sofa that turns into a bed! Her

Overview

Though she is teased about her silver trailer home, a little girl never loses sight of life’s true gifts in Rosemary Wells’s sensitive, ultimately uplifting story.

Stella lives in a sparkling home on wheels that’s as silver as a comet in the sky. Inside are lots of cupboards and hiding places, and even a sofa that turns into a bed! Her home is called the Starliner, and it has everything Stella and her mama and daddy need to be happy. Until, that is, some big weasels pop up along the road, saying mean things about the Starliner. Mama comes to soothe away the hurt, and Daddy hitches their home to a truck and drives it away to a brand-new place, where Stella meets friends who are as enchanted as she is with her shiny home. Happily, one person’s old tin can is truly another person’s silver palace!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
…[a] gorgeous, good-hearted book…
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/20/2014
In a series of silver-framed vignettes, a little fox lives contentedly with her family in Airstream-style trailer, a small but ingenious living space with “a kitchen and a radio and a sofa that turned into a bed.” Stella’s sense of security evaporates when a gang of weasels mocks the Starliner (“It’s an old trailer is what it is!” “You must be poor!”). But when Stella’s Daddy hitches the trailer to his pickup truck and moves the family to a place where there are palm trees and shimmering water, Stella makes new friends who think her life in the Starliner is worthy of “A squillionaire!” Curiously, Wells never clarifies the reason behind the relocation, and so a story that draws so much power from its sense of emotional truth concludes with an ending that seems almost too magical. But that’s a small caveat; as income inequality takes it toll on more and more children, this story and its heroine are an important reminder of just how resilient families can—and must—be. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
[A] gorgeous, good-hearted book.
—The New York Times Book Review

As income inequality takes it toll on more and more children, this story and its heroine are an important reminder of just how resilient families can — and must — be.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

There’s much to admire in both the art and the story. The text is simply written but precise. ... Created using watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencil, the lovely illustrations create a sense of order, safety, and wonder in Stella’s world. This evocative picture book makes an absorbing read-aloud choice for young children.
—Booklist (starred review)

Wells’ winsome animal characters are charming, as always... The casual, colloquial tone suits the simple tale beautifully. ... [T]he variously sized mixed-media illustrations are captivating, featuring lush forests, starry nights, expressive faces and delightful details.
—Kirkus Reviews

Wells’s illustrations (rendered in watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencil) appear against a summer country landscape alive with swirling stars and sun-dappled trees. While reading this book, children will realize that it’s not the size of one’s house that makes a happy home; it’s the love inside it.
—School Library Journal

Packaged within silver starry-sky endpapers, the illustrations (in watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencil on sanded paper) vary in size from spot art to a striking double-page spread of the flying Starliner. Backgrounds are full of symbols that deepen the story, and words and images work effectively together to develop the setting and this loving family looking out for one another.
—The Horn Book

Many kids will share Stella’s love for a compact and mobile dwelling, and the book vividly depicts the joys of her cozy life... The art has that famous Wells combination of adorableness and artistry; the starry motif, which has a Van Gogh flavor at times, is echoed in delicate pointillism in the landscape detailing. Gleaming silver framing or borders accent most of the spreads, adding to the magic of Stella’s silver home and enhancing appeal for viewers.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

When you are small, there is nothing quite like the awful feeling of having your home or family mocked. It can leave an ache that lingers for years. Rosemary Wells puts a gentle finger on the exact point of pain—and relieves it—in "Stella's Starliner," a picture book for 4- to 8-year-olds filled with vibrant, emotionally resonant illustrations. ... Sensitive and visually delightful pages.
—The Wall Street Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Stella, a well-dressed young fox, lives by the side of the road in an old-fashioned silver Starliner trailer. It has everything Stella needs. Her daddy comes home in his truck on Saturday nights; her mama makes pancakes Sunday mornings. On Sunday nights he leaves again, and Stella and her mama spend a busy week. One day, some passing weasels make fun of Stella’s home. At first she feels too bad about it even to tell her mother. But when she does, her mother tells her that her father has hitched the Starliner to his truck to fly them away, and up into the sky they go. The next morning they are next to a house with palm trees. Two bunny friends emerge to admire the Starliner and cheer Stella; clearly she has arrived at a place where she can be happy. Silver shines from the jacket/cover and end pages and around white frames of varying sized watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencil illustrations on sanded paper. Drawings of the weasels on a blue background haunt Stella after her encounter. The double page of the truck and trailer sailing across the starry sky above the trees is magical. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
PreS-Gr 2—Stella, a red fox, is proud of her family's trailer home. It has cozy corners, fun hiding places, and a color that resembles the stars. When some older weasels call it a tin can, she hides her sadness at their hurtful comments from her mom so she won't "feel the stings, too." The problem is resolved, though, as the trailer home takes flight to a new location, where Stella meets new friends, in what appears to be a vivid fantasy sequence. The small camper that looked cheap to the weasels makes her new playmates envious. With bunnies Grace and Stumpy sharing a meal with her in the trailer, Stella feels like a "squillionaire" once again. Wells's illustrations (rendered in watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink, and colored pencil) appear against a summer country landscape alive with swirling stars and sun-dappled trees. While reading this book, children will realize that it's not the size of one's house that makes a happy home; it's the love inside it.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
Wells' winsome animal characters are charming, as always, but her latest effort lacks coherence and depth. The casual, colloquial tone suits the simple tale beautifully. Stella, a fox child, lives a happy life, secure in her parents' love and seemingly unaware of her straitened circumstances. She loves her small, shiny trailer home, enjoys spending time with her mother and looks forward to her father's weekly return on Sundays. Then some unfriendly weasels point out her poverty. Saddened, Stella tries to keep her emotions hidden, but her mother teases the truth out of her. Unfortunately, instead of allowing Stella to sort things out herself, Wells decides to solve her problems geographically. Stella's dad hooks up the house trailer and hauls it to another, more welcoming (and tropical) locale, where the new neighbors greet Stella and her home with awe and enthusiasm. The abrupt ending may leave listeners wondering exactly what happened. They're also likely to be confused by the contrast between scenes that suggest a mid-20th-century rural setting and the inline skates and baggy pants sported by the weasels. Overall, however, the variously sized mixed-media illustrations are captivating, featuring lush forests, starry nights, expressive faces and delightful details. Fans of Wells' work will likely embrace Stella's story, but some may wish she'd been allowed to confront her problems rather than just running away from them. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763614959
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
03/25/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
489,785
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD530L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Rosemary Wells has written and/or illustrated more than 120 books for children and has received many awards. She is the author-illustrator of Love Waves, the creator of the Max and Ruby stories, and the illustrator of My Very First Mother Goose and Here Comes Mother Goose, both edited by Iona Opie. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.

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