Concentrate on beating the first level collection first as this level is significantly easier than the next set and having ALL the stars will help open up succeeding levels faster.
When you pause the game the menu appears over the action obstructing your view which can make things difficult. To get around this problem restart the game a few times before playing to memorize what the level looks like to begin with, where the disappearing stars are and to plan a strategy.
Make sure to time your final swing carefully when you are just about to feed the creature it's candy otherwise you could easily over or undershoot.
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