The Star Festival

by Moni Ritchie Hadley (Author) Mizuho Fujisawa (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

As five-year-old Keiko and her eighty-five year old Obi, or grandmother, excitedly prepare to celebrate the Star Festival, Tanabata Matsuri, Obi tells the story of Tanabata. Includes information about the festival and how it is celebrated.

Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, celebrates a popular folktale: The Emperor of the Heavens separates his daughter, Orihime, from her love, Hikoboshi, all year--but on this day the two stars finally reunite, crossing a bridge over the Milky Way.

For Keiko, her mama, and her grandmother, Tanabata is about making tanzaku wishes, taking in the colorful decorations, and eating delicious food like nagashi somen and shaved ice.

But when Obaasan gets lost in the crowd, Keiko and Mama must make their own bridge to find her again--and see if their tanzaku comes true.

"Hadley has created a remarkable debut that flows elegantly, interweaving the two tales in a way that is readable and fun...An exquisite choice for all collections."--School Library Journal starred review


School Library Journal

Starred Review

K-Gr 2--Keiko is excited to attend her fifth Japanese Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, with her Oba and Mama. They prepare by tying tanzaku to their bamboo tree, hoping the paper wishes come true, and dressing up in their summer kimonos. Oba shares the story of Tanabata, which Hadley and Fujisawa have interspersed with the family's festival preparations. When Oba is separated from Keiko and her mama at the festival, their search for her coincides with the festival reenactment of Orihime and Hikoboshi's search for each other. Keiko's clever use of the story's elements to find her Oba will have readers imagining along with her. Hadley has created a remarkable debut that flows elegantly, interweaving the two tales in a way that is readable and fun. Fujisawa complements the text with her vibrant digital artwork. The lighter colors used for Keiko and her family in the beginning complement the darker, bolder colors used to tell the story of the stars and the evening festival. The use of shadows and softer lines in the Tanabata retelling contrasting with crisper lines for Keiko and her family enhance the folkloric quality of the story. Hadley and Fujisawa adeptly incorporate food, decorations, and festival elements without getting bogged down in descriptions or definitions. Back matter includes the history of Tanabata Matsuri, information about festival food and decorations, and a tanzaku tutorial. VERDICT An exquisite choice for all collections.--Kristyn Dorfman, The Nightingale-Bamford Sch., New York City

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

STARRED REVIEW! "Hadley has created a remarkable debut that flows elegantly, interweaving the two tales in a way that is readable and fun...An exquisite choice for all collections."—School Library Journal starred review

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780807575956
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
J
Publication date
April 20, 2021
Series
-

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!