Picture Book Review: Nova the Star Eater
There’s a lot of realistic bits to this, but there’s also a lot of definitely not.
We received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review Date: April 15th, 2019
Written by: Lindsay Leslie
Illustrated by: John Taesoo Kim
Nova the Star Eater is hungry. She can’t stop eating stars and doesn’t pause to ask if they belong to anyone else!
A much here. A gobble there. A crunch, crunch, crunch.
One day, Nova happens to gobble up a particularly important star: Earth’s Sun!
Nova and the world’s leaders aren’t sure how to fix this astronomical misunderstanding, but one clever little girl just might have an idea to save the day!
I was expecting this one to be entirely set in space (because I rarely read the cover copy) so I was actually quite surprised to discover that Nova is sentient but also there are humans. For some reason this felt disconnected to me at first. That said, it didn’t seem to phase Madeline at all.
There’s a lot of realistic bits to this, where you actually learn quite a lot of cool earth and star info, but there’s also a lot of definitely not realistic stuff going on as well. It’s a bit like the book couldn’t make up its mind what to be. But I think it works on the kid level because of this, because it doesn’t overwhelm with facts and it’s quite silly in the end.
The planet artwork is really gorgeous and I found myself preferring those pages to the ones with people. Things I really liked about the people aspect of it, however, was the fact that the president is a woman (of color, to boot) without any actual mention of her being a woman or woman of color, as if this is common. I also enjoy that the lead astronaut is a woman of color. AND that the kid who saves the day with the big idea is a girl. It’s great representation and diversity.
I wish I had personally liked this book better, however Madeline really enjoyed it, and that’s what matters. Maren has these little baby snacks shaped like stars, so we call her Nova the Star Eater a lot, so this book is definitely on our minds often!
- Font Readability: 10/10
- Kid Engagement: 9/10
- Mommy Engagement: 7/10