First Star

  by Will Hillenbrand

Bear and Mole are back for a fifth adventure!

Holiday House

Preschool - Grade 1

It's a beautiful summer afternoon, and Mole wants to stay outside and watch the stars turn on. Bear suggests they hike up to Camp Tiptop and stay the night. As dusk falls at the summit, Bear tells Mole the bearish legend of how the first stars came to be: long ago, First Father Bear, First Mother Bear, and First Little Bear were the only bears in the world, and there were no moon or stars. . . . In this beautiful and imaginative story, Hillenbrand spins an enchanting tale of friendship, storytelling, and starry nights.


Hillenbrand’s artwork exudes warmth—even as night falls and Bear and Mole are surrounded by deep, indigo blue. Hillenbrand offers a tender depiction of two friends on an adventure that is almost—but not quite—scary with a story within a story that will stir readers’ imaginations. Ages 3–6. (May) —Publishers Weekly


The spread showing Bear and Mole gazing into the vast indigo night sky from their mountaintop perch is exquisite, as is the particularly touching image of little Mole reaching to pull big Bear up over a steep rock. Young readers will love the book's center picture--which needs to be turned 90 degrees to view properly--of First Father Bear reaching up into the sky. First Star is a beautiful celebration of friendship, storytelling and the magic of a starry night. --Emilie Coulter —Shelf Awareness for Readers


All the facial expressions relax as they are lit by the gentle white light of the sky and Mole’s lantern. On a full vertical spread, First Father Bear pushes “HARD, HARD, HARD” to affix the North Star that will never move. At the end, the illustrations are still in dark hues, but the stars, body language of the characters, and dialogue make the story playful and lovely. Parents and caregivers will appreciate the book’s message to children afraid of the dark. This is a gentle alternative to mythological creation stories and scientific explanations. VERDICT Another empowering message for fans of Bear and Mole that is perfect for bedtime and small group sharing. —School Library Journal, Elissa Cooper, Helen Plum Memorial Library, Lombard, IL


Hillenbrand's warm, textured illustrations take on a gorgeous, luminous blue for the tale of the first bears, both text and stars glowing white against it. Of course, Mole delights in Bear's storytelling, and suddenly the darkness isn't so scary after all. —Kirkus Reviews




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