Wild & Wonderful Wednesday: Star of the Sea by Janet Halfmann

Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish
written by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Joan Paley
Henry Holt and Company, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9073-4
5 stars
Grades K-5
Reviewed from library copy.

BLURB: With the ocean her home, an ochre sea star hunts for her morning meal.  She folds over her rays and grips the rocky shore with sticky feet as she feasts on shellfish.  When she takes too long, the tide flows back without her and Sea Star becomes easy prey.  But she is built to survive and eventually makes her way back to the sea, although with one less ray than before.  This inspiring story informs young children about the important role of a small but fascinating sea creature.
Not only is this book gorgeously illustrated but very informative as well. The book follows a single day of a sea star struggles to survive as both predator and prey. The reader watches as the sea star makes her way out of the water toward a group of mussels.  The details about how the sea star moves and senses the world were fascinating.  I appreciated learning about how sea stars eat by inserting her stomach into the mussel, not many creatures eat like that.  Details like this make this book perfect for sharing one-on-one or in a classroom situation.  I liked the fact that though the author includes lots of details, these details do not bog down the story in any way.

The illustrations are gorgeous cut paper-collage.  The illustrator does a wonderful job of matching the illustrations to the text.  It bothers me when illustrations don't match the text, thankfully that is not a problem here. The bright contrasting colors make the book very appealing.  Overall I'd say this is a great book for sharing and I recommend it highly.


  1. That looks like a beautiful book.
    What a lovely book to share with grade school students when learning about ocean creatures!

    1. I am planning to share this with some of my students. I think they'll find it fascinating.

  2. Thanks so much for the nice review and wonderful comments. Happy Reading to all!


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