Twinkle Twinkle Little Kid by Drew Daywalt, pictures by Molly Idle

Twinkle Twinkle Little Kid by Drew Daywalt, pictures by Molly Idle. Philomel Books, Penguin Random House, 2021. 9780399171321

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? Clyde makes a wish on the first star he sees at night, and then dejectedly heads inside to bed.  While he is asleep, that same star descends and comes through his window and makes a wish on him: “Kid light, kid bright…”  Clyde wakes up and screams at the surprise visitor.  After the initial shock wears off, Clyde and Star bicker over the propriety of wishing and wish granting. As Clyde tries to figure out what Star wished for, he suggests all the games and activities he has wished for over the past few weeks, all of which require a second player or companion. It is clear that both of them have wished for a friend, and it is also clear that, in the end, their wish has come true.

This well-meaning bedtime story from two modern children’s literature luminaries definitely has its highs and lows.  Daywalt’s usual snarky humor and sassy dialogue is evident when Clyde and Star first meet but it seems a little out of place in a gentle tale about kindness and friendship.  The sass is softened as the two friends find common ground.  The real star of the book is Idle’s glowing artwork.  The twilight tones of deep indigo and lavender are offset by the soft bright yellow and pink that Star brings with her, as the two charming characters frolic across the full-bleed page spreads.  

Anything you did not like about the book?  Readers might empathize with Clyde’s desire for a best friend, but might also wish that Star helped him find an earthly buddy for the daytime.

To whom would you recommend this book? PreK and lower elementary age readers who enjoy other Molly Idle books or books by artists like Lita Judge will enjoy the story and the pictures; fans of Daywalt who are expecting sarcastic crayons or battling rocks, paper and scissors might be disappointed.

Who should buy this book? Preschools, public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: October 29, 2021

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