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Sydney's Star

Sydney's Star

by Peter H. Reynolds, Peter Reynolds (Illustrator)

Sydney was an inventor.
She invented everything. From beautiful birdhouses to charming cheesecakes.
And this is the story of her flashing, floating, mechanical star that faltered, and fizzled, and floated away.

And led her to her dreams.


Sydney was an inventor.
She invented everything. From beautiful birdhouses to charming cheesecakes.
And this is the story of her flashing, floating, mechanical star that faltered, and fizzled, and floated away.

And led her to her dreams.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reynolds's (The North Star) snappy pictures and breezy narrative contribute equally to the humor of this tale introducing a spunky young mouse. Inspired by a star in the night sky, clever Sydney (who "made brilliant birdhouses, charming cheesecakes, and all sorts of wonderful inventions") decides to build her very own remote-controlled star. The crowd cheers when she launches her creation at the school science fair, where she hopes to land the prize of a telescope, but "suddenly the remote control made a rude burping sound, and the star started floating away." Crestfallen, star-less Sydney makes her way home, walking along a beach in the rain. Meanwhile, out at sea, her star comes to the rescue of a lost boat captained by a woman scientist, guiding it through the storm to the safety of shore. Rendered in watercolor, gouache and tea, the artwork captures the comically mercurial moods of this endearing heroine, quite the shimmering star herself. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
A girl mouse with big ears and a scientific bent is the "star" of this charming, if far-fetched, picture book. "Sydney loved to build things," the story begins, and she is inspired by everything she sees around her. Seeing the stars twinkling inspires her to build a remote-controlled star, which she then enters in the Student Science Fair. Her invention is a big hit, but then it spins out of her control and disappears. Now comes the hard-to-believe part:While Sydney is sadly trudging home in the rain, a boat at sea "struggled to find the shore and avoid the rocks." The female captain thinks she sees a lighthouse, but it's actually Sydney's star flashing a message in Morse code. To Sydney's astonishment, her star and the boat appear at the dock near her house, and the captain gives Sydney a wonderful reward—a telescope. Lighthearted, pastel-colored watercolor illustrations by the author, a supremely happy ending, and the refreshing message that girls can be good inventors and scientists make this book shine. 2001, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $14.00. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Miriam Rinn
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Sydney is a mouse who enjoys designing and building things. Her newest and best invention is a remote-control star that she enters in a science fair, hoping to win first prize: a blue ribbon and the telescope she covets. During a demonstration of its capabilities, the remote control appears to fail and her star drifts away. Embarrassed and dejected, she slinks home in the rain. Unbeknownst to Sydney, her creation has picked up a distress signal and gone to guide Captain Stella Stilton's boat to safety in a storm. As a thank-you to Sydney, the captain awards the young inventor the ship's telescope. So, even though she lost the science fair, the large-eared, long-tailed rodent attains her heart's desire, which readers learn about from the last illustration showing the cover story of the Seaport News. Watercolor-and-gouache (and tea) illustrations show the determined mouse hard at work with her drawings, plans, and prototypes. A mildly entertaining tale starring a perky, self-confident character.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young Sydney discovers that the world works in mysterious ways, cockamamie too, in this loopy item with a message. Sydney is an inventor of whatever captures her fancy-a better cheesecake, a better birdhouse, and in this case, a remote-controlled star. Her star is such a gem-and pulsing with readiness in Reynolds's whimsical watercolors-she enters it into the science fair, where it dazzles the crowd, but then takes a powder into the firmament. This breaks Sydney's heart; on the other hand, it so happens that the star is on a mission to save the life of a captain on a research vessel caught in a storm. Turns out the star had picked up a distress signal from the ship and went to help. After being guided to safety, the captain (also a female) offers Sydney a telescope and a job as a research assistant as well; Sydney and her star are front-page news. Off the wall, sure, but the larger point of never knowing what the fruits of creativity might yield is nicely packaged in the folderol, and it's a refreshing shift to have females in non-traditional roles. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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