Review of When the Stars Came Home

When the Stars Came Home When the Stars Came Home
by Brittany Luby; illus. by Natasha Donovan
Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.
11/23    9780316592499    $18.99

In this affecting picture book, Ojiig, a young Indigenous boy, moves with his parents from their rural home to the city when his father gets a new job. He misses fishing, picking blueberries, and seeing the stars at night; grocery-store shopping and glow-in-the-dark stick-on stars are poor substitutes. A star blanket quilted with Mama (identified in the appended note as an Anishinaabeg woman) and the accompanying stories of Ojiig’s ancestors bring comfort, and the arrival of his grandparents for a visit also helps the city to feel like home. “Home is where you discover who you are. Home is where you imagine who you might become.” Luby’s lyrical text and Donovan’s vibrant colored-pencil and digital illustrations combine to powerfully convey universal themes about change and the strength of family. An author’s note gives background on Anishinaabeg and Dakota quilting traditions; a pronunciation guide is also appended.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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