Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

( 1 )

Overview

One of the most acclaimed children's book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolor to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can't help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider's web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. "How I wonder what you are!" marvels the tiny creature, launching a...

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Overview

One of the most acclaimed children's book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolor to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can't help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider's web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. "How I wonder what you are!" marvels the tiny creature, launching a dreamlike quest to reach for the stars.

Inspired by one of our most popular children's lullabies, Jerry Pinkney's gentle world—where the loving arms of nature embrace us despite darkness or uncertainty—is perfect for easing little ones into dreamland.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Medalist Pinkney (The Lion & the Mouse) taps into the curiosity and wonderment that define this nursery rhyme, following a chipmunk’s travels by day and night. Though four verses of the song are included along with the refrain, many of the spreads are wordless, leaving readers to decipher the inquisitive chipmunk’s wanderings. Rendered in pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil, Pinkney’s lush artwork is simultaneously naturalistic and whimsical. Like Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee’s Stars, also out this fall, Pinkney takes poetic license with regard to what constitutes a “star”—morning glories, spider webs, fireflies, and water lilies all take on astral qualities. After climbing into a bird’s nest (a nod to “Rock-a-Bye, Baby,” per Pinkney’s artist’s note) that transforms into a boat, the chipmunk, now wearing a sailor suit, sails into the darkening sky in a dreamlike journey that later has him tumbling into a pond and being rescued by a swan. Pinkney’s flora and fauna are exquisite, as is his palette, dominated by rich earth tones and brilliant blues. Soothing and magical, this one should conjure some sweet dreams. Up to age 3. (Oct.)
The New York Times
"Pinkney... brings a... sumptuous, color-saturated aesthetic to this reimagining of the familiar bedtime lullaby.... a free-form journey from woodland to dreamland."
From the Publisher
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2011
A National Parenting Publications Awards Gold Winner
An Amazon Best Book of the Month Selection October
An Amazon Top Ten Picture Book of 2011
A University of Wisconsin-Madison CCBC 2012 Children's Choices Book
A 2012 Bank Street College Children's Book Committee Outstanding Book

* "Pinkney's sumptuous elaboration of the familiar lullaby...takes on the same epic scope as his Caldecott winning The Lion and the Mouse.... Just another superb outing from a fixed star twinkling in the children's literature firmament."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "From jacket to cover to endpapers, every element in the book contributes to the dreamlike vision of a curious adventurer exploring the natural world. This appropriate theme for young children finds expression in a series of vividly imagined, gracefully composed, and beautifully detailed illustrations."—Booklist, starred review

* "A stellar performance from a book-making virtuoso."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Pinkney's lush artwork is simultaneously naturalistic and whimsical.... [His] flora and fauna are exquisite, as is his palette, dominated by rich earth tones and brilliant blues. Soothing and magical, this one should conjure some sweet dreams."—Publishers Weekly

"Pinkney... brings a... sumptuous, color-saturated aesthetic to this reimagining of the familiar bedtime lullaby.... a free-form journey from woodland to dreamland."—The New York Times

starred review Booklist
* "From jacket to cover to endpapers, every element in the book contributes to the dreamlike vision of a curious adventurer exploring the natural world. This appropriate theme for young children finds expression in a series of vividly imagined, gracefully composed, and beautifully detailed illustrations."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Pinkney has based this book on the verses of the traditional poem, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," with minor changes. The text is set in Goudy Old Style with display type hand-lettered, giving a distinctive character to the words. But beyond this simple text, the illustrations tell a complete story of their own, a tale of an adventurous chipmunk who seeks the "little star." First he sails in a boat created from a robin's nest; then in a river full of aquatic creations. The illustrations, created with pencil, watercolors, are in varied sizes, from smaller sequences to full and double page. They are replete with details of animal and plant life as the narrative moves through the day into the night, ending peacefully with our sleeping hero. Pinkney's naturalistic style produces a lively world that engages our attention with delight. His note explains the background of the book. The music for the song is included. Note the end pages and the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In his latest re-imagining of a childhood classic, Pinkney focuses on the wonderment of a chipmunk. The endpapers, which open at sunrise and conclude with starlight, signal the time frame. The inquisitive creature's quest to understand both what and where stars are (verses alternate at appropriate junctures) begins from the safety of his cozy nest. As time passes he discovers the shape in natural phenomena ranging from star-imprinted morning glories and the dew on a spider web to flickering fireflies and the gleam in a swan's eye. His actions become progressively more daring: seeing a robin's nest in the tree, he ascends. The home subtly transforms into a boat, he into a sailor, soaring through the heavens, borne on the breath of an animated wind, then gently deposited on a water lily for a final adventure. Employing pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil, the artist skillfully captures the chipmunk in a host of poses and expressions, building a character worthy of visiting again and again. An opulent blue winds through Pinkney's dazzling compositions, providing depth, unity, and pure pleasure. This world is so full of interest that scenes break the frames of small panels and full bleeds until the conclusion, when circular compositions provide security. Nods to other lullabies, a subplot, and music are smoothly incorporated. Illuminating notes discuss how the notion of a lullaby serving as a bridge from a child's safe haven to the unknown dream world inform Pinkney's telling. A stellar performance from a book-making virtuoso.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

In Pinkney's sumptuous elaboration of the familiar lullaby a chipmunk's nighttime odyssey takes on the same epic scope as his Caldecott winning The Lion and the Mouse (2009).

Seamlessly tweaking a later version of the multi-verse 1806 original with minor changes in wording and repeated insertions of the first two lines as a chorus, the illustrator follows a furry traveler—who is often posed as if in song—through verdant tangles of dandelions and other flowers, up a tree and into an empty robin's nest. With a turn of the page, that nest is transformed into a small boat (and the chipmunk acquires a sailor suit) that sails into the starry sky. The adventure briefly takes on an anxious cast when a gust topples the tiny explorer into a pond of much larger fish and other creatures, but a swan glides to the rescue and gently wings its little passenger up to the smiling Moon. Rendering natural details with typical accuracy, Pinkney fills his intimate watercolor close-ups with rippling leaves and rhythmic shifts of color that simultaneously create a feeling of active, if dreamlike energy while echoing the poem's quiet cadences. He intersperses wordless interludes, either single pictures or short sequences, to create a unified story line and finishes with a final view of the dreamer curled up (still in that sailor suit) on a bed of soft leaves and down.

Just another superb outing from a fixed star twinkling in the children's-literature firmament. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pamela Paul
Pinkney, who won a Caldecott Medal last year for The Lion and the Mouse, brings a similar sumptuous, color-saturated aesthetic to this reimagining of the familiar bedtime lullaby…
—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316056960
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/3/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 474,872
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Pinkney is one of the most heralded children's book illustrators of all time. He has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honors and the winner of the 2010 Caldecott medal for The Lion and the Mouse, and has since created two companion picture books: The Tortoise & the Hare and The Grasshopper & the Ants. He has won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, the Coretta Scott King Honor four times, and has been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Award. He was also the first children's book illustrator elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The artist invites you to visit his website at jerrypinkneystudio.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    the most beautiful children's book I have ever seen

    Reviewed by Rita V for Readers Favorite

    Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a marvelous children's book written by Jerry Pinkney. Through the eyes of a curious little chipmunk, we get to explore the beauty of nature as he views it; thus, giving the reader a glance from his rare perspective. We see the beauty of a simple spider web, a bird's nest, the clouds and the wind, the moon and the stars, an elegant lily pad, magic in the water and a breathtaking swan. The wording flows free and musically throughout the pages right along with the most stunning and visually stimulating artwork.

    This beautiful children's book is filled with the most exquisite illustrations that I have ever laid my eyes upon! The book's cover captured my full attention, and the pages are each unique masterpieces beyond what words can describe. The wildlife and nature are depicted so delicately and creatively that I, literally, spent minutes on each page just taking in all of the delightful artwork. Jerry Pinkney is a true and master artist. I loved the Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star wording throughout the book, as well, as it sets the mood of calmness and soothes the reader with its powerful and magical pages. This is truly the most beautiful children's book I have ever seen. The rare perspective through a chipmunk's eye is truly visionary and creative. Every child and adult will absolutely adore this book, and it is a must have for a baby nursery, a gift for any occasion, or just because! Anyone can see that Jerry Pinkney's artistic passion comes from within his soul, and by sharing it with us, he truly inspires his readers and touches our hearts with awe.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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