Official Review: The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 4796
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 14
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: The Great Alone
Bookshelf Size: 393
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
Location: Snuggling with a Book :)

Official Review: The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga

Post by hsimone » 31 Jan 2018, 16:42

[Following is an official review of "The Dim Star" by George F. Kacenga.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Have you ever wished upon a star? Did it make you feel better? In the children’s book, The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga, the reader is taken up into space, where stars and constellations exist, to a little star who needs some help.

Stars of many shapes and sizes coexist within the solar system. Some are brighter than others, some are part of a constellation, some are tall, and some are short. Following the Dim Star, the reader is taken on his journey of finding his self-worth that perhaps can be found somewhere other than his home.

This children’s book was a light and easy-to-follow read. The Dim Star’s sadness was clearly shown and it would be easy for children to understand why. The other character, a young boy, also showed signs of unhappiness. However, his reason for sadness was never fully explained. This is the part that was a bit unsettling. Teaching children to wish upon a star to solve their problems is something that isn’t realistic, and I fear may encourage children to not talk to their parents and/or guardians when there is an issue or when they are upset.

I found the illustrations inviting, though there were some blurriness in the background of the space scenes. The blurriness was a bit distracting, but I don’t feel children would notice one way or the other. One of my favorite aspects of the illustrations, though, was the varying emotions the stars and the young boy demonstrated. It brought a sense of realism to an otherwise fictional tale.

Rhyming is the main writing style here. For most of the book, the pattern is AABB rhyming, which provides a great rhythm for children while reading. Unfortunately, there were a few times when words that were meant to rhyme didn’t. For instance, on page seven, the words “shines” and “kinds” don’t rhyme, and on page nine, “shine” and “combined” don’t either. In addition, there was a bit of inconsistency with the grammar. There was a comma missing and an inconsistent use of upper case and lower case letters that began each line. However, it totaled to about a handful, so it most likely would not affect the children's enjoyment of this read.

With the exception of potentially teaching children that wishing upon a star will help them feel better when they feel lonely and the grammar issues present here, I found this to be an enjoyable and sweet read. I truly believe preschool-aged children will enjoy The Dim Star very much as a sweet bedtime story. Therefore, I give this read a 3 out of 4 stars.

The Dim Star
View: on Bookshelves

Like hsimone's review? Post a comment saying so!
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 3948
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 19
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 151
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Model Marine by Sondra Sykes Meek

Post by kandscreeley » 01 Feb 2018, 08:21

It's too bad that there's a bit of inconsistency. I also wonder about the blurriness. Do you think the author did that on purpose for some reason? Either way, it does sound like an interesting story. Great review as always! Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6674
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 270
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Terry Bradshaw: From Super Bowl Champion to Television Personality by Brett L. Abrams

Post by bookowlie » 01 Feb 2018, 12:46

Great, insightful review as always! I found your review particularly interesting as I recently considering choosing this book for review.
You made a really good point that teaching kids to wish upon a star might give them the impression that this way is better than discussing problems with their parents.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

User avatar
Posts: 325
Joined: 12 Jan 2018, 15:41
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 44
Currently Reading: Travels with Vamper
Bookshelf Size: 222
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Don't be a Noodle in Someone Else's Soup by Charles E. Smith, Ph.D.

Post by BookishCreature » 01 Feb 2018, 13:09

I had my eye on this one as well. :) The message of the book does seem a little... impractical? Sounds like it'd be easy for a kid to get the wrong idea. :/

Great review, though - I enjoyed reading your thoughts. :)

User avatar
Mercy Bolo
Posts: 833
Joined: 31 May 2017, 03:44
2018 Reading Goal: 144
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 10
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 10262">The Wisdom and Peace of the Teachings of the Tao Te Ching</a>
Currently Reading: And Then I Met Margaret
Bookshelf Size: 142
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Puppy's First Night, Featuring Sparkle De Barkle and her Favourite Furry Friends by Bec McGregor

Post by Mercy Bolo » 01 Feb 2018, 14:38

From your review, I I can already feel the star's sadness. Too bad the overall message is impractical. That's not what children should be taught.
"The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head."
~OluTimehin Adegbeye

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Posts: 377
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 670
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 180
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... >Emotional Intelligence</a>
Currently Reading: Lost in the reflecting pool
Bookshelf Size: 124
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Aluria by Tyler Cook
Location: Sri Lanka

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 02 Feb 2018, 05:27

I could not agree with you better on the advice you gave for the parents. The book seem interesting but the real audience are the small kids, their best interest is very important. After all it depends on the parents what they wish to give their young kids. Thanks for the details!
Happiness is a cup of coffee and a good book!

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Feb 2018, 10:19
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Rionjam » 02 Feb 2018, 11:07

Well I had this thing..about stars, many time, probably it doesn't work
Maybe "yes" but mostly "no"
Just saying.. but..
It's still a good thing for those who believe.

User avatar
Posts: 15
Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 18:54
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 148
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sigfried&rsquo;s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley
Location: Ireland

Post by AoifesReview » 04 Feb 2018, 14:56

Great review! It seems like a sweet little story, and certainly one that my solar obsessed nephew would enjoy. I particularly like the idea of it teaching children that everyone is special and different in their own right, but that we all experience the same things as well. We all get sad, and that's okay, but it's important to ask others for help when you feel sad and to talk about why you re sad. Even if it is a bright star, a friend or your parents that you talk to, it's not healthy to keep things to yourself.

I suppose if I was to read this with my nephew I would have to explain that sometimes talking to the people you love can also help to solve your problems, family can be just as magical as wishing stars.

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”