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The Storybarn selects… from The Reader Bookshelf

Written by Roxanne Vella, 16th June 2022

To celebrate the launch of the new Reader Bookshelf we've asked members of our Children & Young People Team to talk about their favourite children's books from the collection.

This week, our Storybarn Coordinator Roxanne Vella, shares her thoughts on From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li. 



This is a beautiful, inclusive picture book about belonging and acceptance; stunningly illustrated with a wonderful rhythm for reading aloud.

Miu Lan is born under both the moon and the sun, so they can't decide who they are or what to be - they have a little of all the light in them. Miu Lan's mother sings a lullaby to them, and Miu Lan grows up knowing not just how loved they are but also that they can be anything they want to be - a star, a fish, a crab, or a bird!

Miu Lan is free to explore all the versions of their magical self - they grow feathers one day, paws the next, and then even fish scales so they can swim! But when Miu Lan goes to school, all the other children know exactly who they are, either a boy or a girl; and Miu Lan struggles to fit in and make friends. They try to be a boy one day, and when that doesn't work they try to spend a day as a girl; but neither identity feels comfortable.

In the end, with their mother's lullaby singing in their ears Miu Lan accepts themselves and embraces their own differences.

This book explores universal feelings of struggling to fit in, making new friends and learning to follow your own dreams even when it's difficult. I think we can all imagine a day we would have liked to grow feathers and fly away, or become a star and look down on the world.

This book is also a lovely, gentle way of opening up conversations about Trans and non-binary identities. Like all books on our bookshelf, it helps us to imagine what life might be like for someone else – in this case, someone born with a little of the light of the moon, mixed in with a little of the light of the sun!

Words by Roxanne Vella

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