One Christmas during college, I played the part of Stella, the star polisher, in a children's musical. Wearing a cotton candy pink sweatsuit and a wreath of glittery gold stars in my hair, I flitted around stage with a huge wool feather duster, polishing and encouraging the stars as they waited to learn who would be THE star to shine over baby Jesus' birth.
So, when I saw Anthony DeStefano's newest children's book, Little Star, I definitely wanted it for my kids.
The story is cute--a tiny, ignored star thinks he'll be passed over in the search for the star who can shine the brightest at the king's birth. But when Jesus is born in a not-too-kingly fashion, the other stars think the baby can't possibly be a king. Only the tiny star understands; he shines brightly enough so that his beam warms baby Jesus. However, by burning so brightly, when dawn comes the following morning, the tiny star has burned himself out.
The lessons are wonderful-God using even the tiniest and poorest individuals, sacrificing yourself completely for Jesus, and believing God even when the world doesn't and looks for a different kind of Savior.
With that said, there is a HUGE flaw in the book that makes me not even want to read it to my children--the star dies the morning after Jesus' birth to be remembered each year at the top of our Christmas trees.
Uh, shepherds? Wise men anyone?
Even if it's not Scripturally accurate, I would be fine if the author had the wise men following the star to the stable. But, all the star does is warm baby Jesus.
I can just see my children saying, "But if the star died, then how did the wise men find baby Jesus?" Children who know the real Christmas story will dismiss this book as just "wrong" and miss the underlying messages.
My advice to the publisher? Add a page with the wise men. Then, republish. That's the only way it's going to make it into the must-read book list at my house each Christmas.
**WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers provides me no compensation for my review, good or bad. They merely send me a complementary copy of the publication.