The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Little Star Review by Melissa Cummings

By Anthony DeStefano
WaterBrook Press
12265 Oracle Blvd. Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Everybody loves Christmas, and it's the perfect season to pull out a new storybook for the children. At home, in the classroom, on the road--when Christmastime arrives, it's about the only thing anybody can think about. Little Star is one of the newest Christmas books available. Its bright cover, complete with a shining star and wide-eyed boy, will certainly draw the eyes of your children.

DeStefano is known as an author who tries to further Christianity in modern culture. In this book, he endeavors to create a new twist on the story of Jesus' birth, focusing not on the incarnate Christ but on the star that shone down upon Him from heaven. It seems he may have taken that focus a little too far, if only evidenced by the fact that the purpose of the star in Little Star was merely to keep Jesus warm in the stable, while in history, the star led the shepherds and magi to Bethlehem. It is a cute story, with a quaint premise, as the tale endeavors to draw a comparison between the small, insignificant star in the heavens and the lowly human infant King, born poor and in a stable. Both the star and the King live brightly in their humble ways but ultimately die, giving their lives as a sacrifice. The story ends with a touching statement from a father to his son, that the star which shone down upon Jesus is still remembered today on top of many Christmas trees around the world, reminding children that even when something seems invisible, it is possible for its legacy to remain and for it to be eternally remembered.

The artwork is attractive, with contrasting themes for the human realm and the celestial realm, although I am not sure the contrast is well-executed. While the human realm is painted beautifully, even realistically, the celestial realm where Little Star lives looks very much like the pages of a comic book. However, the colors are warm and the details of the little boy's face are particularly stunning.

As a parent who desires to put good literature into the hands of my children, I cannot say that this book would top the list of Christmas books I desire to have on our shelf. Little Star may be a fun story for the library or for someone who wants Christian themes to be a little muted. It may also be a good way to remind children that Christian themes can be found everywhere if we look hard enough: even on the tops of evergreen trees in homes around the world.

Physically speaking, the pages of the book are a bit rough, especially around the edges, for the price. But the hardcover binding seems sturdy and durable--even for little hands.

Product review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2010