Official Review: The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga

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hsimone
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Official Review: The Dim Star by George F. Kacenga

Post by hsimone »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Dim Star" by George F. Kacenga.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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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.

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The Dim Star
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Post by kandscreeley »

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!
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Post by bookowlie »

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.
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Post by BookishCreature »

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. :)
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Post by Mercelle »

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.
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Post by Sahani Nimandra »

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!
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Post by Rionjam »

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.
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Post by AoifesReview »

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.
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Post by prettysmart »

Perfect bedtime story for kiddies! Adorable review!
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hsimone
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Post by hsimone »

This was definitely a cute story that I feel many children could enjoy as a sweet bedtime story. Thank you everyone for reading and commenting! :D
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