Day 17 and we have another of my favorite books from my childhood, A Star in the Pasture, by Katherine Zwers and John Tobin, and illustrated by Carol Heyer. This book was created in 1988 and really was one of my favorites as a child.
This is a story of a little star on a big mission who falls from the sky and is cared for by a lowly shepherd and his pet lamb.
It is funny reading a story as an adult that you treasured as a child. I remember my fondness for this book quite well and several pictures bring a smile to my face as I recall their affect on me many years ago. This story is sweet. The shepherd, Sebastien, and his lamb, Hopscotch (don’t you love that name!), live a quiet life which is suddenly interrupted by a brilliantly lit star whom has fallen into their pasture. The poor little guy is quite distraught and has a big mission to accomplish the next night. Sebastien and Hopscotch befriend him and give him some rest and refreshment while trying to come up with a way to get him back into the sky before the next nightfall.
I remember as a kid loving the several attempts they come up, including balloons and a slingshot. I use to laugh and laugh at the misadventures. The end of the story is very sweet when the problem is solved and we discover the star’s important mission for the first Christmas.
This is actually a bit of a hard review for me as this book falls into the category of a book that I loved as a child, but I see a bit more flawed now as a more discerning adult. It really is a sweet story and I still love the illustrations; but it is long, a bit choppy, and the ending is actually really abrupt. However, I don’t remember caring about any of those things as a child. Interestingly enough, when researching this book I discovered that they re-released it last year under a new name of Christmas Star. I would be very interested to see if they polished it up a bit with a new publication. There is also a sequel which tells of the story of Easter with this same shepherd and lamb duo in Golden Easter Egg.
As I was looking for information on co-author Katherine Zwers, I found this very recent interview with her on Savvy Suburban. Nice to hear about her, but I’m a bit confused why they didn’t mention that this book isn’t actually “new.” I can’t find any information on the other co-author, John Tobin.
The illustrator, Carol Heyer, is quite an artist. She has several books to her name and her work is lovely. Such detail and stunning painting skills. One of her newer books, which she wrote and illustrated, is Humphrey’s First Christmas, and it looks marvelous. Be sure to watch the interview with Ms. Heyer and a camel as well. I’ll definitely be looking out for that book!
A Star in the Pasture is a sweet, simple book—and quite lovable—if you ask little-kid-me. Give it a try this season if you pick it up (or even its “new” version, Christmas Star, which I’d like to hear about if you do).
Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas Books.