Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Star by Felicity Marshall

Any grammatical inconsistencies or other oddities in this or following reviews may be laid at the feet of the mighty decongestant, of which I have partaken freely.

Three friends live in the detritus under a pier - a worn doll, small spotted dog, and a harlequin. But Marion, the doll, dreams of being a star and a little bird pulls them through the television screen to a place where Marion can become a star. She changes her dancing, appearance, and finally her friends so that she can become a celebrity. But when she's worn out and replaced, she finds her true friends are still waiting for her and they return to their old home.

The illustrations are smoothly created and have several beautiful touches. The art was quite fascinating and I loved the many subtle touches that brought out points in the story. The story itself...well, it's well-written but I just didn't like it. The "girl leaves true friends to become a star and then returns" is a really worn plot, imo. What always bothers me about this plot, and this one in how it's always shown as "bad" to change yourself. What if Marion doesn't want to live with a bunch of discarded toys under an old pier? What if she prefers herself fixed up and not clunky? The others' insistence "we love you just the way you are" while Marion "secretly longs for adventure" well, that to me says possessive relationship much? Why shouldn't Marion have a chance to try something different? The place where Marion goes to become a star is obviously Hollywood and there are some very chilling images at the end of what happens to her replacement, a china doll that shatters.

Verdict: I liked the art, but I'm not sure who I would give this story I wanted to discourage from entering show business? Kids obsessed with celebrities? It's a beautiful book, but the story doesn't sit well with me.

ISBN: 9781876462925; Published 2010 in Australia by Ford St. Publishing; Review copy provided by publisher

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