The Stars Just Up the Street

Sue Soltis
Christine Davenier

A grandpa’s memories of brilliant night skies inspire a little girl to take action in a tale for budding community organizers and star lovers alike.

Mabel loves stars. She counts five from her window and thirty-seven from her backyard. But her grandfather tells her that, as a child, he could see thousands. Could it be true? Mabel climbs a hill looking for more stars — only to discover that the glow from the nearby town makes them hard to see. What would it take for her neighbors to turn off their lights, just for one night, so that everyone could see the starlit sky? Sue Soltis’s tale of a young activist and Christine Davenier’s luminous illustrations will leave readers curious about the dark-sky movement — and the wonder that is waiting for them just up the street.


“A lovely picture book.” — The Wall Street Journal

"One voice, one idea, really can make a difference. The idea that anyone, even a young child, with a passion for change can impact an entire community is extremely powerful. Readers will be inspired to stick with and pursue their dreams, undaunted by naysayers...Readers will be left curious about real-life efforts to enjoy the natural beauty of the night without the interference of manufactured light. A story that inspires all ages to speak up and take action to positively affect the world around them.” — School Library Journal

"Graceful, readable text underscores the protagonists' loving relationship. The art is a sweet complement, whether portraying daylight excursions or revelers under the increasingly starry sky...It takes a village to control light pollution…gently inspirational." —Kirkus Reviews

"The narrative and dialogue flow quite naturally, and Davenier’s artwork, created with fluid black line drawings and colored inks, is captivating, particularly in the final series of spreads showing the contented townsfolk gazing up at the deep blue, star-spangled sky. An inviting picture book to share with children." —Booklist

“Davenier matches the text’s plainspoken momentum. Animated ink washes capture both Mabel’s earnest determination and the wonder of what means so much to her: a dark night sky of deep blue and lavender, gloriously dotted with stars.” —Publishers Weekly

"An eye-opening introduction for youngsters to thoughtful pushback against a big manmade change." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books