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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

What Stars Are For by Margeaux Davis

Henry the snail spends his nights exploring the world alone and wondering one thing: what are stars for? One morning, he decides to come out of his shell and ask someone. Can Henry find the answer to his question and make a friend?

This is a gentle, moving story about curiosity, overcoming your fears and finding friendship.

Author and illustrator Margeaux Davis has created a sweet story, which we loved reading as a bedtime story. Davis's writing is peaceful and soothing, 

Her illustrations are delightful with lots of detail. She uses different perspectives and scale to put the reader right in the garden alongside Henry. From a tiny snail gazing into the endless night sky to close-ups of plant tendrils, each page is an artwork. The endpapers are a clever touch too, with lots of little things to spot and compare between the two.

While What Stars Are For seems like a simple book, Davis understands that picture books can be a way to open communication lines with the youngest readers. Henry's story will help spark conversations and show children that they are not alone—some of us need help to make friends and be brave.

It would make a great book for a classroom, especially at the start of the school year, for classes to think about looking out for each other, taking time to support others, and about the importance of kindness. While the theme of friendship underlines the story, there are also conservation, science and environmental themes that could serve as a great starting-off point in the classroom. Davis's illustrations could also inspire some fantastic art lessons.

What Stars Are For is a gorgeous picture book that will comfort, inspire and delight younger readers.


Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Affirm Press



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