Reader Reviewed The Gingerbread Star by Anne Fine

The Gingerbread Star

Written by Anne Fine
Illustrated by Vicki Gausden

5+ readers   7+ readers   Little Gems   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2015 - Interest Age 5-8 Reading Age 5+ Hetty, a little grey earthworm, is spellbound when she sees a glow-worm. She longs to have a glowing little light in her body too so that she can light the way home, or find lost things in dark corners, or read all night under the bedclothes. Her parents explain it’s impossible and console her with cuddles and gingerbread stars, but Hetty is determined and, thanks to a somewhat distracted wizard, gets her glow. Anne Fine has created a lovely little fairy tale with a resolute hero, rewarded for her hard work and honesty. Perfect bedtime reading, made even more special thanks to its glow-in-the-dark cover! ~ Andrea Reece

About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's and with a reading age of 6+, these quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. They are also suited to children of 7-10, reading below this level and to dyslexic or reluctant readers.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read their full reviews.

  • Hermione Chaytors, age 6 - 'Hermione was able to read the book all by herself as the layout is very child friendly. This is her first Anne Fine book but I’m sure it will not be the last!'
  • Enora Hauduc, age 6  - 'I loved the pictures in this book. It is an encouraging story for children. I recommend this book for children who like magical and adventurous tales!'
  • Ruth - 'A superb size for little hands...This has everything we want in a magical tale, a queen, a wizard and his cat, gingerbread stars and a strong heroine in Hetty.'
  • Tockington Manor School, Year 2 - 'We like Anne Fine and this story is quite different from other books we have read by her. If you like familiar stories about funny creatures doing incredible things, then you will like this.'


The Gingerbread Star by Anne Fine

Little Hetty dreams of being a glow-worm instead of a boring old grey worm. She wants a light of her own so she can glow and light up the dark places. All the better to read after lights-out! So off Hetty sets, determined to get a glow of her very own. But will any of the people who live in the forest actually be able to help her achieve her dream?

High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 5+

About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info


96 pages


Anne Fine
More books by Anne Fine

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th July 2015




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