Reach for the Stars and Other Advice for Life's Journey by Serge Bloch
Sterling - Children's (ages 4 and up)
Reach for the Stars is a lovely little inspirational book that's been released by Sterling Children's Books (and is therefore directed at youngsters) but is suitable to tuck into a gift basket or to wrap and send with a card for people in need of an upper at any time in life. I didn't realize the author has written another book with the same characters -- a very simple male figure and his dog, Roger -- until I looked up information about the book and read about Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards. I haven't seen a copy of Butterflies, etc., in person, but I'm sure it's equally fun.
In Reach for the Stars, the boy (age is indeterminate, but we'll just call him a "boy") and his dog appear as simple line drawings around or on a photographed object. Let's take the second- and third-page spread as an example. "Sometimes it will be smooth sailing," is written on the second page. There's a photo of a paper boat made from newspaper, which the boy and his dog are sitting inside, sailing on little streaks of water. A bird perches on the folded "sail" and three fish peer out from the water. On the third page, it continues with, "but other times it'll be a bumpy ride, with many forks in the road." There, the boy is driving a car down the curved tines of a fork, while his dog bounces off the roof, looking surprised but happy.
Each photograph represents a different figure of speech and the book ends with the thought that, "When you have all your ducks in a row" (yes, with ducks lined up in a row behind five little people), ". . . you'll spread your wings and fly!" The people and dog on the last page spread have bodies shaped like airplanes with feet and heads.
Reach for the Stars was released in April and I'm sorry I didn't manage to read and review it sooner because it would definitely be a cute gift to send to a new graduate, along with that boring old check most people mail to grads.
4/5 - A clever book for all ages, with an upbeat message and cute illustrations.
I have a lot of children's books I've meant to review for a while, so I'm making today a "Children's Day". This is Book 1 for Children's Day. More reviews will follow.