Author: Neha Das
Illustrator: Kate Fallahee
Publisher: Elephant and Owl Press (2019)
ISBN: 9781733189309
Age Level: Toddler – age 6
Grade Level: P-1

Amazon Synopsis “Mommy, please don’t go!” Every working mom experiences that moment — that time when your child looks you in the eyes and begs you to stay home but you know you have to head to work. How do you show your kids you love them even though you have to head out the door? As a mom of two with a full time career, author Neha Das has been there and experienced the heartbreak that can come when you have to balance your obligations at home and at work. “My Shining Star” was written as a tool to help empower her daughters and show them that her passion for her career did not diminish her love for them in any way. This book helps kids – and their moms! – navigate those complex emotions and come to a better understanding.

My Review

It isn’t easy being a mom and a full-time working professional, yet there are so many families living within this scenario. Author Neha Das has written a tender story about the relationship between a child and her working mom in “My Shining Star.”

This is an amazing book for children AND their working parents. I love the gentle, consistent affirmations of love that mama fox gives to her child, and the warmth and affection realized through every part of the story as readers walk through a day in the life of this particular family dynamic. Children may not understand “why” mom and/or dad need to be away from them all day but they do understand love. Fill up your child’s love bucket and that will get both you and them through the day.

A couple of things resonated with me while reading “My Shining Star.” First, I was drawn back in time remembering my own childhood.  My younger brother and I were raised by a single working mom and I remember feeling separation anxiety. We knew our mother loved us, to be sure, but I’m not sure she had the proper tools herself to deal with our insecurities – a mom working outside the home wasn’t as common as it is today. “My Shining Star” allowed me to look back and acknowledge that my mother did her very best.

The second thing that struck a chord with me was from the parental perspective, remembering the feelings of guilt in leaving my son as I worked all day. “My Shining Star” is a gentle reminder to parents to give yourselves a break, release the guilt and focus on the love you have for your child – remember you are their world as well.

The illustrations by Kate Fallahee are absolutely stunning.  Bright bold colors, soft loving characters, kids will be drawn to the pictures like little magnets, unable to break away.  I love the expressions of the characters – especially the eye-contact between mother and child – talk about feeling the love! I’m in constant awe of illustrators and their capability of bringing pictures to life in storybooks. In “My Shining Star” this is absolutely the case – you can tell just by looking that the child feels loved, safe, secure and confident. Outstanding!

The hardcover binding and the sturdy, resilient, kid-proof pages make it a book that can easily stand up to being read over and over again – good thing because this one’s a keeper!

Told through simple soft rhymes, Neha Das tells a lovely story. Combined with the gorgeous illustrations by Kate Fallahee and you have a winning recipe for a fantastic children’s book.

About the Author

Neha Das lives with her husband and two daughters in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts. She is a board certified pediatric dentist, baking aficionado (it helps to have three eager taste testers in the house), bookworm, and a lifelong student. She loves hiking, singing off key, having impromptu dance parties, and laughing as much as possible.

Learn more about Neha Das and connect at:


About the Illustrator

Kate Fallahee currently works as a freelance graphic designer and children’s book illustrator. She has had a passion for drawing since Kindergarten and is always looking for ways to improve. She has an Associates Degree in Design & Graphic Technology, and her favorite things to draw are cartoons and expressions. Kate hopes to one day work in the animation industry as a storyboard artist or character designer.

Learn more about Kate Fallahee and connect:


Review Copy

I obtained a copy of this book to review from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Need a picture book review?  Contact Me!

Interested in reading this book?

Consider purchasing it through this link: “My Shining Star.”  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

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