The Star Maker’s Apprentice – Sam Hay and Xin Li
As a huge fan of picture books with Sam Hay’s name associated with them, I am delighted to be sharing this newest title on my blog, and even more so when I get to discuss and admire the illustrations by debut picture book illustrator Xin Li.
The illustrations throughout this beautiful book breathe life into stars as we know them, and give them the magical feel that they deserve, and that children would apply as they notice the twinkles in the sky at night, and learn about what stars are. Every gorgeous page is immersive in design, and through the chosen colour palette the scenes being depicted have a depth and immersivity that will definitely captivate the imaginations of those enjoying this book.
The Star Maker’s Apprentice tells of the adventure Finn has when he decides to help his father in his role of making stars, but is unable to do so when he is unwell, which leaves Finn eager to assist – and who can blame him, it must be a dream come true to be able to make stars!
Finn has grown up watching his dad making and repairing stars, and is so inspired by what he sees that he frequently designs his own with his arts and crafts supplies. When Finn shows his designs to his dad, and suggests that he tries new designs on the stars he makes, he is told by his dad that people don’t like things to be different, and subsequently continues to make traditional designs of stars, until one day when he is poorly, and that means Finn’s dad is unable to make and repair the stars that he needs to.
What you first come to admire about Finn is his determination to help his dad to get his work done, and also how confident he is that he can achieve what he is setting out to do. Finn has the best of intentions, a kind heart, and a desire to help his parent, all of which make him a fantastic role model for readers, and are reasons for hoping he is successful in his endeavours within his dads workshop. Being both careful and respectful of his dads tools as he sets about designing and making stars is what makes this story so brilliant, because it allows readers to focus on what Finn is achieving, that of creating something different, and going against the trend.
Finn creating something different is a success, and everyone loves the new designs that are colourful, sparkly, and full of character, and when Finn’s dad sees them for himself he is so proud of his son, and rewards him with the offer of being his second in command, and the pair even wear matching overalls – so cute!
This book celebrates the willingness and bravery to try something new, and embrace something different. It is incredibly powerful content to share with little ones as it encourages them to believe in themselves and their ideas, and to share them with others. I utterly loved this book more and more each time I read it, and know that it will be a story I enjoy sharing over and over again, enjoying the knowledge that it will inspire those that hear it in the process.
The Star Maker’s Apprentice is published by Farshore, priced at £6.99 (paperback), and available to purchase from all good bookstores now.