Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells
I have a confession to make: when I first read Stella’s Starliner, by Rosemary Wells, it brought a little tear to my eye. This tale about the place we call “home” is beautifully written with a charming simplicity and a strong message.
Stella is a fox. She lives with her parents in a silver Starliner, a small, shiny trailer home that she loves. She loves spending time with her father in it at the weekends, and with her mother while he is away working during the week. Stella is blissfully unaware that, to some, a trailer home is not considered a proper house. Then, one day, some (aptly named) weasels mock her home, pointing out that it is not silver but tin, and that she must be poor to live there. Stella is distraught. At least, until her parents save the day by moving her home somewhere new, somewhere that others might appreciate it for the special place it is.
Stella’s Starliner is a captivating story. I felt a strong maternal instinct towards Stella, wanting to protect her, and keep her world a happy place. The message is about our need for security, something that is represented by our home – where we live – more than anything else. But security is so much more than a place, it is the people we are surrounded by, and it is the sense we have of ourselves. The weasels in the story turn Stella’s world upside down by destroying her innocence, an innocence that, until they turned up, has kept her safe from some of the harsh realities of life. Equally, the right characters are able to restore her sense of security, and boost her back into a state of happiness, and confidence about who she is and where she belongs.
The accompanying mixed-media illustrations are gorgeous, featuring some interesting techniques and details, as well as verdant forests, starry night skies and expressive faces that truly capture the emotions of the story and its characters. The images are framed in – what else? – silver, further adding to the storyline.
The narrative is enchanting, the illustrations lovely, and the message touching. Stella’s Starliner is an ultimately uplifting story that will make a valuable addition to any child’s library.
REVIEWER: Emma Codd
TITLE: Stella’s Starliner
AUTHOR(S): Rosemary Wells
PUBLISHER: Walker Books