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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  261 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars--and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi's friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
***All questions answered by my 4 year old***

What's your favorite part of the book?
Nothin, I didn't really like that book.

What do you think of the cover?
I don't like stars..

Do you want me to read it again?
No, not ever.

What Momma Thinks...
Finn didn't really care for this book, it doesn't have a lot of bright colors, and I think it might be a little slow and over his head, for a kiddo his age. Momma, however, really enjoyed this book. The colors and the art are beautiful. The story is really grea
Josie Stewart
This book did shine even though it is a little direct in the message. The language is beautiful as are the pictures. I think young readers will chime in and realize the greatness Little Hoshi is surrounded with under the sea!
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I am struggling with this picture book. On the one hand, yes, the message of "cultivating happiness where you are" is an important one.

But...little Hoshi really loves the stars. Shouldn't she culture happiness where she is but not give up on her dreams of reaching the stars? Or is there no space program for starfish?

Seriously, I talked to my 7 year old after reading this, to see if the book also left him feeling a bit off, and we both agreed that it is important to both.

The illustrations by Naok
Hannah Taylor
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely in love with this book. There are no words. It is about a star fish who looks up every night and sees the beautiful shining stars. He wonders why he does not shine, and he makes a journey to figure out how. While on the journey, he talks about how beautiful it will be when he gets out of the ocean, but he is blinded to all of the beauty already around him. In the end, he learns what he is missing and shines in the ocean. As a future teacher, I can’t wait to use this book to teach that ...more
Emma (Miss Print)
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely story about a starfish who realizes that grass might actually be green enough right where she is (forgive the over-extended metaphor). This is a charming story about dreaming big and being content with what you have. I'm surprised McDonnell didn't illustrate this book himself but can hardly complain when Stoop's artwork is so vibrant and lovely.
Sometimes even sea stars don't realize how wonderful they and their surroundings are, and it can be hard for them to shine. In this particular situation, Hoshi wonders what life might be like if she were a star twinkling in the night sky. Sadly, as often happens for those who think the grass is greener on the other side of the road, she cannot see the beauty around her because she wants something else. Nothing seems to soothe her until she chances upon an anglerfish, arguably one of the ugliest ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
I picked this book up for a similar reason that I did for Why Am I Blue. It just had the feel that it would be about being yourself and to an extent it did, but it was also really different. Here we have Little Hoshi who wishes to be a star in the sky so that she could shine brightly, ignoring everything fascinating around her. It gets to the point that all she does is want want and want, and then she falls into despair. I feel like this is relatable in that people tend to always want for more a ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a about little sea star Hoshi, who is unhappy and just wants to shine like the stars above. Until she learns that the world around her isn't as bad as she thought, and the key to shining is happiness. I think this story is bey metaphorical to life and finding happiness within yourself and the world around you.
This seems like an odd thing but the pages of the book were really nice paper and the art was beautiful! And metaphorical too!
This could help teach growth mindset?
"Oh, poor little me ... a star stuck in the sea."

Hoshi longs to be a star up in the sky, not one in the sea. In the sky, she knows that she could shine. "Down here, nothing is fine. Down here, I'll never shine." She's so depressed that she sinks all the way to the deep, dark depths of the ocean. This is where she meets the anglerfish ... who always shines because he's happy right where he is. And when he's happy, he shines.

A strong message.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I felt this book was tedious. I didn't like the obvious being stated; such as: '"Up there, there are exciting and endless possibilities,' she explained to the exciting, endless schools of minnows." Yep, I got it with the illustration. The beautiful illustrations were the one thing that saved this book.
This is a story about a star fish who isn't content to be where she lives and wants to live up in space with the stars. She doesn't know how to shine until she meets a fish in the yucky part of the ocean who teaches her how to shine by being happy no matter where he is. Nice illustrations and story.
A tiny seastar gazes at stars in the sky and wonders why it cannot be up there instead of in the ocean. As it wanders all over the ocean, he begins to see that it is a wonderful place to be, too. The book will start a great conversation about finding that “there’s no place like home”. McDonnell brief words are illuminated by Naoko Stoop’s lovely ocean-y illustrations.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Illustrations by Naoko Stoop, done in acrylic, pencil, pastel, and ink on plywood, and digitally finished. The wood grain visible as an underwater background is particularly nice. A lovely little fable about appreciating what you have, here and now. (view spoiler)
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
So far, my stack of book have all be pretty good! This book makes the 4 star group which is a rare group for me ! It has a great message. Great pictures, just SHINE! where you are!! Thank for the lesson Hoshi the sea star!
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aw. This is a heartwarming story of a little starfish who is sure life would be better if she didn't live in the ocean, but lived in the sky. She'd be near all the other stars and would shine brightly. She learns by the end of the book, that she can shine anywhere.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Really liked the illustrations. It's didactic and saccharine and therefore definitely not my cup of tea, but I can see how this would be enjoyed by or useful for families who want their kids to appreciate what they have.
Kevin Hull
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Simple, mostly well done life lesson for kids focusing on a Starfish who can't see the forest for the trees. Teases at but abandons a dark ending that would made it a masterwork, at least in my humble opinion.
Joy Lane
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
finding your inner peace with where you are
Mary Librarian
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a sweet story with beautiful illustrations of a starfish wishing to be up in the sky so she can shine only to realize the ocean is her home and she shines when she is happy! LOVE
Brenda Kahn
Setting aside the fact that angler-fish use their light to lure prey and not as a reflection of their happiness and contentment, this beautifully illustrated parable has its heart in the right place.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A star fish learns that true happiness comes from within.
Michele Knott
Teachers of primary grades, this would be a perfect book for central message.
Good message for look for the good around you, be your own happiness.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
What I most enjoyed about this book was my introduction to the art of Naoko Stoop. Comforting. Soft.
Patricia Gmitrovic
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ocean
Wish upon a star...a sea star.
Lisa D
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it!!another classic by this author!!
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
for anyone who has been waaaay down to the murky's hoping we all find out how to "shine"!
Edward Sullivan
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Good message but the delivery is too heavy-handed for me. Lacks the charm and warmth of McDonnell's other picture books.
Veronica Manthei
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good for story-times about different places, feelings, happiness, contentedness, self awareness and self acceptance.
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In 1994 McDonnell created the comic strip MUTTS which now appears in over 700 newspapers and 20 countries.

In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a children's book career. His first children’s book, which featured the MUTTS characters, The Gift of Nothing, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Art (2006), his second release, told the story of a boy named Art who makes art. His next release, Just Like
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