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A Starlit Somersault Downhill

A Starlit Somersault Downhill is a 1993 book by Nancy Willard and illustrator Jerry Pinkney about a rabbit that is invited by a bear to share a cave over winter but instead of hibernating decides to enjoy the outside.

A Starlit Somersault Downhill
A Starlit Somersault Downhill.jpg
AuthorNancy Willard
IllustratorJerry Pinkney
GenreChildren's literature, Children's poetry, picture book
Published1993 (Little, Brown and Company)
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages32 (unpaginated)
Calligraphy by Barbara Bash

Publication historyEdit

1993 A Starlit Somersault Downhill, (Little, Brown and Company)[1]
2011 A Starlit Snowfall, (Little, Brown and Company)[2]


Publishers Weekly, in a review of A Starlit Somersault Downhill, wrote "Willard's typically sophisticated language gains meaning through repeated readings, and her sonorous rhyming couplets impart liveliness to nature's sleeping season. Lavishly detailed, full-spread watercolors afford views of untidy woods and tousled fur--they bristle with energy even as they suggest the restlessness youngsters may experience in the deep of night, wide awake and alone."[3]

A Starlit Somersault Downhill has also been reviewed by Booklist,[4] and Kirkus Reviews[5]The Horn Book Magazine,[6] School Library Journal,[7] and the Cooperative Children's Book Center.[8]


  1. ^ "A starlit somersault downhill". OCLC. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "A starlit snowfall". OCLC. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "A Starlit Somersault Downhill". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. August 30, 1993. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "A starlit somersault downhill". Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Retrieved February 16, 2017. With a rhyme that's pleasant to the ear, if not always clearly understandable to young listeners, .. Graceful in both picture and word, this creates a mood that transcends the intricacies of the text.
  5. ^ "A Starlit Somersault Downhill". Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus Media LLC. May 20, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2017. In gossamer lyric verse, delicate as early snow, a whimsical tale
  6. ^ "A starlit somersault downhill: Reviews". Retrieved February 16, 2017. Pinkney's realistic watercolors of the bear and rabbit include a final fold-out page and perfectly complement Willard's poetic images of darkness and light, movement and slumber, snow and spring.
  7. ^ Shirley Witton (September 1993). "Book Reviews: Preschool & Primary Grades". School Library Journal. Media Source Inc. 39 (9): 221. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "A Starlit Somersault Downhill". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved February 16, 2017. This lyrical, lively poem is touched with humor and filled with joy .. Jerry Pinkney's illustrations spanning each two-page spread fill the pages with autumn and winter light.