For today’s book, we’re back in translation with Laura’s Star by Klaus Baumgart, translated from German by Judy Waite (Little Tiger Press).
Emma: I like the shiny star.
Jenna (one of our friends): I felt very sad for Laura.
Laura is a lonely little girl who wishes she had a friend. Looking out the window one night she sees something fall from the sky. She goes outside to investigate, finds a broken star on the ground and takes it home to look after. She enjoys playing with the star but the next morning she can’t find her new friend, leaving her bereft. That evening, she realises the star had been there all along but out of its natural environment, the star is beginning to die. She realises she needs to send the star back to where it comes from, so sacrifices her favourite balloons to help the star on her way.
It would be easy to overlook this book in favour of other flashier books and titles but actually the this is the sort of book I want my kids to read. Baumgart could have made this a celebration of pinkness and frilliness, Laura in her princess palace complete with tiara. But he hasn’t! In the day, Laura wears green and orange and at night she has blue and white striped pyjamas – not a pink sparkly wand in sight! Her bedroom has toys littered around it, (just like ours!), there’s an open book on the bed and the toys on view are a real mix of rockets and dolls. When mum and dad try to cheer her up, it’s dad who’s wearing the apron and carrying the jelly .This is the message I want my children, both Dominic and Emma, to receive – toys are toys, colours are colours and cooking can be done by both sexes!