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As the colorful stars are poured into the little girl’s hands, each one comes alive. With her entire face animated, she tells the story of the stars.
The big blue one is the dad, the purple the mom. The little yellow ones are children. The plastic bag can no longer contain them, neither can the small jewelry case. There are more of them now; they need a new home, a hotel tower with many floors, many rooms, pools and a hot tub.
The tiny paper stars began as wishing stars, a gift from my student to my 5-year-old Sarah. A wish granted from each star every night. Sarah shared the stars with her brother and her neighbor friends until she only had three left.
My student made more stars for Sarah, so many that the stars outgrew their home; Sarah had to find a larger home to accommodate the new family members.
These stars have become more than wishing stars; they are now Sarah’s little friends residing at the head of the bed atop Sarah’s loft in the four drawers of Sarah’s jewelry box–this box with an alarm clock on top is the hotel tower where the stars live. On either side of the hotel tower are boxes (one a small kiddy pool of a box, the other a grown up pool tissue box). Diving boards are created, hot tubs, rooms within the drawers of the jewelry box.
As Sarah tells her story with such vivid detail and whimsical seriousness, she shows me the world of her stars and for a moment I am transformed, and I am in the tower hotel with Sarah and her stars all because of my Sarah Bear’s towering imagination.