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The North Star

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  702 ratings  ·  108 reviews
It is often said that life is a journey, and it’s true. But sometimes it’s hard to know which path to follow when signs point in so many directions. In this beautifully illustrated book, Peter H. Reynolds once again encourages readers to observe, to wonder, and to consider diverging from the well-worn path — to pursue their dreams. Originally published more than ten years ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Candlewick Press (first published December 15th 1997)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  702 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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T Crockett
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This along with "Ish" and "The Dot" are all books with a message, but somehow this is the only one where it annoyed me. I think in this book the message of finding your own north star didn't come as any sort of surprise, so it felt like a parable (never did enjoy those). In the other two books there are unexpected twists and turns which make the reading fun and the message a secondary part. In "North Star" I felt like I was being taught a lesson.
One of my favorite books of all time! While written as a children's book, this work speaks to readers of all ages about the importance of following our dreams and identifying our own path. I am an educator,and I read The North Star to every class of children, youth, or adults that I teach. Peter Reynolds has a poetic way with words, and his watercolor illustrations are beautiful. This book is not to be missed!
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
A good message about how just because there is a path in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s your path. Trust yourself enough to ask where you want to be heading, and go that way.
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very difficult book to review, and yet it also demands that I write one, if only to prevent this jewel of a child-sized work of philosophical poetry from sliding into the abyss of picture books I have and will have read. Because this one is special. The boy who is its protagonist has no name, nor any particular real-world setting. Instead, he has a series of places and characters he encounters and interacts with as he tries to discover where he is going and why, where he would like to ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
What an emotion provoking book. It speaks abstractly of life's journey and how some of the path is hard and others easy and how a dream or a star guides our path. Awesome book, everyone should have this book.
Sonja H
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, just discovered this book, definitely going to purchase. "Ask yourself where it is you want to go, and then follow the signs you already know."
Carol Royce Owen
I read this and was wishing I had some nieces or nephews graduating this year, because this would be a perfect gift. The story is a reminder that despite others' attempts to pull us in various directions we need to determine what our North Star is and keep our eyes on the mark. Only then will we be happy and content.
A cute book, but it seems to be trying too hard to be inspirational. The message (follow your own path) is a good one, and the illustrations are cute, but the story falls flat without reading it at an adult level.
It's a picture book, but it seems to be more for adults than kids. Ordinarily I love Reynolds, but this was too schmaltzy for me. I kept thinking it wants to be the next "book to buy for graduates when you don't want to give them money".
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Really needed to be reminded that it is important to follow your own path and not the one others want you to be on. Fun story.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great beginning of the year discussion. What is your plan for this school year and how will you get there?
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very beautiful book about journey of individual with clean illustrations. A hidden moral to tell you not to follow others but diverge and follow your own dream!!

A sweet breeze met the boy as he awoke to his journey. One day he had the urge to stand and to walk which made his journey easier. Boy saw a rabbit but he didn't reply to boy and disappeared in a path the boy had never noticed before. Boy wandered toward the path and there he saw a cat. Boy asked about rabbit and cat replied he as in
Abby Everson
From the boy just being a baby, he wanted to explore. He came upon the ocean, there he saw a bunny which lead him to a path. Then a cat talked him through and guided him. Sometimes on the journey he got stuck because the signs were pointing both ways. He got stuck in a swamp, but the cat came back when he wandered too far. He then clearly saw the night sky full of stars, one particularly brighter, but the frog in the swamp couldn’t see it at all. He followed the star for quite some time, which ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This seemed like such an existential topic for a kid's book. As my husband was, the day we read this, in the midst of making a big life decision, he was really drawn into the boy's journey! The moral is a wonderful one for those of all ages - forge your own path, don't just do what is dictated for you to do. Although it didn't quite have the ending that my hubby was looking for ;-) And Reynolds' watercolor illustrations were lovely as always!
Emily Towne
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-438
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Bland
A little boy must start his journey, but to where? He's not sure, but he is following all the signs. Eventually, he must figure out where it is he wants to go and follow the signs to that place. It is very encouraging and shows children that not everyone has the same path in life and that their life is their journey and no one else's.
Lynn  Davidson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful story about a little boy seeking to find his path in life. The signs were there, but he was encouraged along the way to find his own way and to not just follow the crowd. It is a hopeful and supportive story about learning about oneself and tapping into all one's own potential.

A great story for all ages, with lovely illustrations.
Mari Tovmasyan
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book carries a lot of sentimental value for me. My 6th grade teacher read it to the class. I felt bad about a solo performance that I thought I messed up on. And my teacher assued me I did just fine and gave me a signed copy of the book.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This seems like an inspirational gift book for HS graduates. Too long and too contemplative to hold the attention of the typical elementary school picture book audience. While I enjoyed Ish and The Dot, I will not likely purchase this Reynolds title for our school libraries.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The allegory in this children’s story is a lesson for both the old, and the young. I will eventually need to own this book. It’s beautiful.

I do have to say it’s odd that a cat, an independent creature, encouraged the child to follow a path that’s not his own.
Faith Tydings
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So beautiful! Everyone's journey is different. Sometimes we are able to help others along the way, sometimes we get lost or stuck in the mud or discouraged. Other times we look up and find the stars shining down upon us. This is such a beautiful book.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite long and not for very young readers but it tells a very important story.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need a copy of this for my own shelves. <3
Finding your own way in the world...
Lisa Quenon
I appreciate this little treasure and yet, I think it leads the reader too much instead of allowing the reader to wander along. Would make a delightful graduation gift!
Lorie Barber
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful end-of-the-year #classroombookaday.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a thinker book. I love this book. “Ask yourself where it is you want to go...”
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
2.5 stars. Just okay. I think he was laying it on a little thick. Still love the illustrations, though.
BreAnn Fennell
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of my little boy.
Erin Stevens
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great to read to those students graduating elementary, middle, or high school.
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OPE Leader In Me: Book of the Month - August 3 5 Oct 11, 2012 05:03PM  

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Peter Hamilton Reynolds is an author and illustrator of children's books and is the co-Founder and CEO of educational media company FableVision.
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