Bright Star (Yuyi Morales)

Hello, friends! Our book today is the utterly stunning Bright Star by Yuyi Morales, a complex and beautiful tale of life, family, community, and hope.

As a whitetail fawn takes its first breath, it is greeted by an unidentifiable voice, who welcomes its new “hermosa creatura”. As the fawn and its mother explore its beautiful desert surroundings, the voice celebrates the miracle of existence, and the preciousness and promise of this young fawn. But then, in the distance, darkness looms. A gray dust begins to overtake the land, and the fawn’s mother urges it to lie low for safety. When the dust settles, the fawn’s mother is gone, and a concrete and barbed wire wall separates the fawn and other animals from the rest of the world. The voice encourages the fawn to have courage – that even in the darkness, the brightness of their star cannot be dimmed, and someday the world will be beautiful once more.

Absolutely remarkable. Obviously, we are big fans of picture books as a medium, but sometimes a picture book comes along and reminds you that they are an unsung vehicle for the fine arts. Morales has constructed a visual and lyrical story in this book that is so layered, so nuanced, and so deeply moving that it feels impossible to capture in a review. Perhaps most striking is the “twist” ending, and its bold tone that combines heartbreaking honesty with indefatigable hope. Incredibly detailed illustrations draw the reader into both the fawn’s world and its tumultuous journey, and the combination of English and Spanish text is both authentically representative and inclusive to dual language speakers. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ thought it was gorgeous. Simply put, this is a perfect book, and we can’t recommend it enough. Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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