Author: Janelle Cannon
Publisher and Publication date: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993
ISBN number: 0-15-280217-7
Audience: Ages 4 – 8
Summary: Stellaluna is a baby bat who is separated from her mother during an owl attack. She ends up in a bird’s nest befriending the baby birds and being cared for by the mother bird. As she grows she begins to act like a bird. Along her journeys as she grows she meets other bats and becomes reunited with her mother. They teach her how to be a bat and she realizes that she isn’t being who she was created to be and that life is much better for her as a bat. She finds her bird friends and shares her new bat skills with them and tries to teach the birds how to be a bat. The birds aren’t very good at being a bat and run into trouble. They wonder together how they can be so alike and yet so different.
Literary elements at work in the story: From the very beginning, readers will be wondering how Stellaluna will survive the owl attack and make it without her mother. The author uses suspense, humor and dialogue between the bats and birds to keep the reader engaged. There are beautiful illustrations to enhance the story and help the reader visualize Stellaluna’s journey. This would also be a great story to use in a readers theater or for children and youth to act along with the reading.
Presentation of gender/race/culture/economic status/age/disabilities/etc: This story highlights the different gifts, abilities and strengths that bats and birds have, like people. Each is uniquely made with different abilities. These creatures are very similar but also very different. The book represents that neither is better than other, just different.
Theological conversation partners: Two prominent themes are represented in this story. One is the love and care for your neighbor. The other is how we are each uniquely made yet at the same time we are all the same, children of God. Following along the lines of this theme is the idea of being who God created you to be and not trying to be someone else. Love your neighbor-Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:31, Matthew 25: 31-46, Hebrews 13:2, Uniquely made-Psalm 139:13, Creation-Genesis 1, Spiritual gifts- 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11, 1 Peter 4:10, Romans 12, Ephesians 4,
Faith Talk Questions:
- In what ways is Stellaluna shown the love of a neighbor?
- How can you see God at work when bad things happen to Stellaluna?
- How is Stellaluna unique from the birds? What happens when she tries to act like a bird?
- How does Stellaluna feel when she discovers her true self? How does it change her life?
- What do Stellaluna and her bird friends discover about themselves?
- How are we like Stellaluna?
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Lisa McLennan.
Stellaluna by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.