South Milwaukee’s Janet Halfmann Releases New Children’s Book

May 28, 2011

South Milwaukee children’s author Janet Halfmann’s thirty-third book released this week. Titled "Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish," the book follows the adventures of an ochre sea star as she hunts for breakfast on a rocky Pacific seashore.


The art, by Joan Paley, is done in collage, using hand-painted papers. The nonfiction picture book for ages 5-9 was published by Henry Holt, a division of Macmillan.


"Publishers Weekly" said, "Poetic verse and vibrant collages characterize this tribute to starfish.” "Richie's Picks" called the book "A stellar read.” The book is a Junior Library Guild Selection.


Halfmann has long been fascinated by sea stars. In researching the book, she found these ocean creatures to be even more amazing than she imagined.


“I learned that they can hunt only underwater because they use hundreds of tiny, water-powered feet to move,” she said. “And a sea star can spit its stomach right out of its mouth and into a tiny crack in the shells of a mussel!”


Since writing the book, Halfmann has been able to touch a live ochre sea star at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.


"I had to examine every inch of it—its tube feet, the mouth on its underside, its spines," she said.


Halfmann will be selling and signing her new book and other titles Thursday, June 2, at the South Milwaukee Downtown Market, 11th Ave south of Milwaukee Ave, 3 to 7 pm. "Star of the Sea" also is available at area and online bookstores.


Halfmann also is giving away five copies of the book to celebrate its release. To enter to win, go to her website and send her a comment:


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