The Wild Wanderers Are Back: Shine, Star, Shine

Shine, Star, Shine & the Wild Wanderers series by Dom Conlon & Anastasia Izlesou

The Wild Wanderers series by Dom Conlon and Anastasia Izlesou are the most welcome additions to the canon nature picturebooks for children that I have seen in quite some time. Each book focuses on a different creature or aspect of the natural world, taking us on a journey across the planet and showing it in all its’ glory. The latest in the series, just out, is most interesting indeed. Let’s take a look…

SHINE, STAR, SHINE (The Wild Wanderers)

author: Dom Conlon

illustrator: Anastasia Izlesou

Graffeg Ltd. (16 November 2021)

ISBN: 9781914079238

There are many stars, all born from the heart of a nebula somewhere out in space. Some are big; some are small; all shine out with different rays that give them their colour, glowing across the millions and billions of miles to reach us. Our Star is no different. It’s called the Sun. Her light shoots across 93 millions miles from her home to reach Earth. Here, she makes the crops and all the plants grow, pumps air from the floating green gardens of the ocean making wind and clouds. She keeps us warm and causes the weather to change. And she reveals a waking world full of life and possibility.

You might expect, from the title, this would focus on the night sky and the different stars that linger there, observed from a far away perspective. We tend to forget that our Sun is a star, and a very important one to us. In Shine, Star, Shine, we are reminded of that at the very beginning. And we know the Sun shines, but we take for granted what that means to life here on Earth. The lyrical language turns factual information into poetry that brings fascination to this everyday, commonplace occurrence. It becomes ordinary no more. The text combines with gloriously painted, evocative illustrations that give us a genuine feel for the Earths’ journey around our Star, the way it effects life in different environments and landscapes, what happens when day becomes night…and why. And then, our attention is turned to the pictures in the night sky, leaving us to ponder those many other Stars out there. Add to all this a wonderful page on Star Facts, introducing words (and their meanings) that might be new to us and you have the complete package. Beautiful, atmospheric, intriguing, informative…and an utter joy to read.

Thank you, Graffeg Ltd for sharing this wonderful picturebook with me (in return for an honest review. I can’t wait to see what The Wild Wanderers will be up to next!

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