The Star Festival
2021 Honorable Mention – Children’s Literature
The Star Festival by Moni Ritchie Hadley, Illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa (Albert Whitman)
Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, celebrates a popular folktale: The Emperor of the Heavens separates his daughter, Orihime, from her love, Hikoboshi, all year—but on this day the two stars finally reunite, crossing a bridge over the Milky Way. For Keiko, her mama, and her grandmother, Tanabata is about making tanzaku wishes, taking in the colorful decorations, and eating delicious food like nagashi somen and shaved ice. But when Obaasan gets lost in the crowd, Keiko and Mama must make their own bridge to find her again—and see if their tanzaku comes true.