A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Explores differences in gender identity.
You are loved and valued exactly as you are.. Reach out to others who might feel alone.
Positive Role Models
Miu Lan's mom is supportive, loving, and encourages Miu Lan's individuality.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kai Cheng Thom's From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea is a gentle exploration of love, acceptance, gender, and identity for young readers. Beautiful, flowing illustrations show the different forms young Miu Lan takes as they grow up, not sure if they're a boy or girl, bird or fish, tree or star. Miu Lan's feelings of confusion and rejection when they start school are clear, and not hidden behind flowery language. The steadfast love of their mother is a lesson in how unconditional support gives strength to be who they are, and how that individuality can change the world around them. The story is a great way to talk about differences, to bring up the topic of gender identity for kids who understand how Miu Lan feels, and to encourage empathy for all.
Is It Any Good?
Built on a foundation of love and acceptance, Kai Cheng Thom's simple, straightforward message is invaluable to anyone who feels like they can't be themselves. It may especially resonate with those who have non-binary gender identities. From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea shows the life-changing impact of unconditional love, and how free a person can feel when they can be themselves. Because this is a fantasy tale, readers can identify with parts or all of the characters in ways they might not in a fully human world. The blunt questions at school if they are a boy or a girl, and Miu Lan's reaction, show how questions that seem easy can be difficult to answer.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations
Books with LGBTQ+ Characters
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