Catholic Book Review: Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

Little Star
by Anthony DeStefano, illustrated by Mark Elliot
Waterbrook Press

Reviewed by Leticia Velasquez
Little Star is a tender Christmas tale about the smallest star in the universe, ignored because of his size, who refused to let the opinions of his fellow stars discourage from doing what he knew was right and becoming the most famous star in history; the Christmas Star. It’s a powerful story which encourages children to love Jesus with all their hearts, and remember that their whole-hearted gift of themselves to Him is the heart of Christmas.

The story is set in a home where a little boy is searching the night sky for the Christmas Star. His father tells him the story of why the Star no longer graces the sky on Christmas. When the birth of Jesus approached, the stars in heaven were excited about the news that a king was coming whose message would change the world forever, and that the star which shone most brightly for Him would win a special reward. They were dusted by long tailed comets to make them sparkle; all but Little Star who was once again overlooked because of his littleness.

As the stars watched from Heaven, the Holy Family was rejected over and over again, and the tiny child was born quietly in the cold, dark stable. Little Star thought it was a strange way for a king to be born, however, he was not discouraged like the bigger stars who gave up on the challenge to be the brightest star. Little Star knew that being little doesn’t mean you are less important to God. “’I think I understand,’ Little Star cried out. ‘The Baby Jesus IS a king! He’s just little.’”

So, Little Star burned with all his strength, offering his light and warmth to the Baby Jesus in the drafty stable, despite warnings from other stars that burning so brightly would shorten his life. Little Star was the only star who understood that “Jesus wanted to be born little to show all the people of the world that he loved them, no matter how small and poor they are.”

Little Star is a simple story told in young children’s language, warmly illustrated with engaging, Disney-like images, which will appeal to the toddler, yet it is imbued with layers of meaning which will challenge the adults who read the story to look deeper into their understanding of the Gospel.

Author Anthony DeStefano is a lifelong pro-life activist, and the author of The Travel Guide to Heaven. On the EWTN program “Bookmark” he explores some of the spiritual themes woven into this moving little story, written decades ago when he was Frank McCourt’s creative writing student in high school. His profoundly moving book will start many a discussion in your family about the meaning of Christmas and the true nature of love.

Copyright 2010 Leticia Velasquez

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