‘Star Child’ movingly read aloud by Joaquin Phoenix in’ ‘C’mon C’mon’ gets a new lease on life

A special Edition of Star Child, has been reprinted courtesy of A24, bringing the out of print book back to life. 

Star Child, was movingly read aloud by Joaquin Phoenix’s character Johnny in Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon, a beautiful film about a soft-spoken journalist, who travels around interviewing kids about their lives and their thoughts on the future. 

Written by Claire A. Nivola and originally published in 2014,  Star Child tells the story of a bright young star who travels to Earth to experience life as a growing boy. In a new special edition –  by A24 who also produced the Mike Mills film –   Star Child is brought back to life, with re-rendered and expanded full-colour illustrations by Nivola.

Credit: A24

In folklore and fiction,  a star child is a child that seems otherworldly, innocent,  as though they have fallen from the stars and are not of ordinary human descent.

Nivola’s book, follows the Star Child, who is a tiny flame of vapor, invisible and timeless, who watches the Earth from far, far away. He marvels at the blue swirls of the ocean and the green land, a bright spot turning through the darkness of space. He wants to go to this wondrous place, but he ponders: What will that life be like?

“You will be plunged into Earth’s river of time,” his elders tell the Star Child.

“There will be so much for you to learn and so much for you to feel—pleasure and fear, joy and disappointment, sadness and wonder.” Using spacious, and artful text and illustrations, Claire A. Nivola beautifully celebrates the cycle of life.  

Speaking with PW about Star Child, Nivola said that the story was inspired by two very personal events: the birth of her son in 1985 and the death of her father five years later. Around that time, she created a little book for her son, held together by a single staple. “I was thinking about death and where does all that plenitude go? And for a child, where does all that abundance, that personality, come from? These are big questions, and I don’t have the answers,” she said.

Check out Joaquin Pheonix reading Star Child, in a clip from the movie, it’s moving as hell.