Every once in a while you pick up a new book and the first time you read it through, the combination of words and pictures speak to you so deeply, it just makes you breathe in and say “Yes. This.” This is exactly what happened to me the first time I read On the Night of the Shooting Star, written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Jenni Desmond. I can’t pinpoint why I loved it so much, but the manner in which this story tackles the contradictory feelings of loneliness and connection was so emotionally resonant and a story I think any and every child will be able to relate to and connect with as well.
In On the Night of the Shooting Star, Dog and Bunny reside on opposite sides of a fence, living virtually parallel lives. They see each other every day, but the two never talk or even acknowledge one another. They care though, as evidenced by wistful glances onto the other’s property to check and see what may be happening on the other side of the fence. Seasons come and go, but one evening, as both are outside gazing into the night sky over their homes, the two witness a shooting star. And that miraculous site may just be the thing to help bring these animals together.
It doesn’t matter how “popular” or well-liked you think your child is. Everyone struggles with feelings of loneliness, and everyone has looked across a fence– or a classroom or a quad or a playground– and felt a pang of sadness when they realize there’s one person– or even a group of people- they would love to connect with. But it seems awfully challenging, right? Reaching out isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright hard. The rewards though? Tremendous. Use On the Night of the Shooting Star to remind little ones that these feelings of solitude are universal– but we can’t overcome them until we make an effort and force ourselves just a little out of our comfort zone. Sometimes, even the tiniest step is all it takes. Absolutely love this one.
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Want the book? Get it here! On the Night of the Shooting Star, by Amy Hest. HEE received an advanced review copy of this book, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.