Monday Books | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 01.15.2024

Without really intending to, we’re shooting for the stars with today’s selection of featured reviews.

From the literal making of stars to wishing upon a star to (kidlit) star power, we explore the concept in all its brilliance!

Summaries excerpted from Goodreads. Click the cover to see full descriptions.


The Mountain Bookie @ Goodreads – This book exposed me to Hmong kids as the main character a rarity in children’s literature. The kids were very relatable and their fear is expressed in an honest way. The book took us through a 3 step process on how to conquer fear. A great tool for kids to refer back to. The book could have used more descriptions of scenes to better paint a picture. This is a great addition to any library.

Kirsten @ Goodreads – This story is short, entertaining, and teaches children how to deal with fear in a healthy way. I truly enjoyed reading it and children will too!


Ellen @ On the Shelf 4 Kids – This story is one that demonstrates one person’s trash truly is another’s treasure and your personal history might lie in the unlikeliest of places!

Kirsten @ Goodreads – Cordell is at it again with another installment to the Cornbread and Poppy series. The watercolor and pen and ink drawings are charming and expressive and add to the entertaining text. With four chapters, early readers will love taking their time reading about Cornbread and Poppy’s new adventures and this tale of a beautiful friendship.


Tiffany @ Goodreads – The way the book is written and illustrated is unique in that while telling Cecelia’s story, it is also telling the story of how a star is born. Great for teaching and discussing perseverance, STEM, women’s history and discovery.

Karen @ Goodreads – The artwork is wonderful and inventive. As Payne develops from a child to a scientist a parallel story is told (in 1/3 of the page) of a star being born. The language Larson uses also uses images about stars.

Linda @ Goodreads – It’s an amazing, yet not surprising story by Kirsten W. Larson of Cecilia Payne, loving science but kept back because of [growing up in the early 1900s]. As Larson tells the story, Katherine Roy intertwines Cecelia’s life with a star’s extraordinary beginnings, following the journey and then ending with the stunning birth of a star. It’s a wonderful addition to books about astronomy and the history of women’s struggles in science careers.


Brooke @ GoodreadsDear Star Baby is for a specialized audience, but is so beautifully told. Dear Star Baby is a love story for a little baby that a family planned for, but who wasn’t born or passed away. This sweet big brother shares his hopes and dreams for a younger sibling, who is now a baby in the stars instead. Newsome’s lovely illustrations and story would make a very touching gift of compassion and love for a family experiencing loss.


Brooke @ GoodreadsWhen Stars Arise is a sleepy bedtime story that reads lyrically and is touched with just the most perfect watercolor images. The narration dares the child to try to keep their eyes open – they can’t go to sleep until the stars arise. It includes nature and the way things go to sleep, but also includes a bedtime routine. Kids love to be dared to stay awake – this books does it so well. It is a warm lullaby that could be read again and again.