Ali and the Sea Stars by Ali Stroker, illustrated by Gillian Reid

Published by HarperCollins

Summary:  Ali is a young girl who dreams of someday singing and dancing on stage.  She shares her ambitions with others around Breezy Beach until one day Kate the lifeguard asks her why she’s waiting for “someday”.  That inspires Ali to organize a performance of Peter Pan, recruiting friends and family for different parts and casting herself in the lead.  On the day of the big show, everything is ready when a sudden rain shower drenches the sets and the cast.  Undeterred, Ali decides that the show must go on and improvises new sets and props.  The play is a smash hit, and the Sea Stars Theater Company is born.  Includes an author’s note about her real-life inspiration for the story. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Tony Award-winning actress Ali Stroker makes her picture book debut, once again showing that being in a wheelchair does not limit one’s possibilities.  The bright cartoon-style illustrations perfectly capture the high energy of the story.

Cons:  I think I would have chosen The Little Mermaid for a seaside production over Peter Pan, even though Ali dismisses it as “too obvious”.

July 17, 2022 at 03:38PM Janet Dawson