By Rino Alaimo
Award-winning filmmaker and author of The Boy Who Loved the Moon Rino Alaimo returns with an endearing tale about courage and love. When a young boy's father doesn't return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star—one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can't fly. Touched by the boy's earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy's father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of this stunningly illustrated picture book.
"Like a Shooting Star is a beautifully illustrated, sensitive, dreamlike tale about how a boy's wish on a firefly becomes a beacon of love to help bring his father back safely from being lost at sea after military service. The war was over. The boy held tight to a picture of his father and tried to wish upon a shooting star . . . but when no good star candidate appeared, the boy wished on a little Firefly who fell into his hands. The Firefly fell into the boy's hands because she was still learning to fly, but he did not know that. The boy pleaded, 'Oh light from heaven . . . you must be a star. I have waited many nights to tell you my wish. Please, can you bring my father home safely from the war?' The Firefly answered, 'I can't fly . . . but I promise I'll bring your father home.' What follows is a symphony of still, shadowed scenes in shades of blue, black and white which tell a delicate story of a Firefly's long journey over a cold ocean and through icy forests to rescue and guide a lost soldier who matched the boy's picture of his father home again. With delicate monochromatic artwork and water brushed imagery, award winning artist/author Rino Alaimo provides the tapestry background for the sensitively told tale. The incredible miracle of the little Firefly's heroic rescue underlines another theme of hope: She flies, she flies beautifully. Like a Shooting Star is a beautiful story for children of parents who serve in the military far away, under unknown skies."
—The Midwest Book Review
"A firefly guides a weary soldier back to his home and son.The war's over, and the troops are coming home—but one waiting boy longs to see a shooting star so that he might wish his father safe. What he gets is a tiny lightning bug who is mocked by the others because she cannot fly. But after she falls into his hand and hears his wish, she intrepidly sets out to grant it. Her long, hopping search over land and sea is successful at last, and after leading the soldier back to his son's arms, Firefly is rewarded with the discovery that, as 'love beat in her wings' and she 'lit up the sky with happiness,' now she can fly. The story's sentimental cast is echoed in the illustrations, which are swathed in deep but diaphanous blues. They depict soldiers traveling beneath starry skies in folded paper boats or airplanes and feature airy, indistinct figures that seem wrought from silvery moonlight. Despite tightly furled antennae, Firefly looks more human than the boy and his father, at least until the two assume a little solidity (and can be seen to be white) in their climactic clinch. As books that depict the experiences of children separated from family by deployment go, this is pretty attenuated; Jill Biden and Raúl Colón's Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops (2012) is both more direct and filled with useful backmatter, while James Christopher Carroll's Papa's Backpack (2015), though it takes a similarly metaphorical approach, has a child-friendly vigor this book lacks. A hope-filled scenario, although it's heavily stylized in delivery. (Picture book. 6-8)"
"When a young boy's father doesn't return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star—one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can't fly. Touched by the boy's earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy's father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of Like a Shooting Star is stunningly illustrated and impressively original picture book by cartoonist and award-winning filmmaker Rino Alaimo. Unique, beautiful, engaging, and entertaining Like a Shooting Star is an extraordinary and highly recommended picture book that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for children ages 5 to 8."