How to Catch a Star - Story Snug
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How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

Happy 10th birthday to Oliver Jeffers’ first picture book How to Catch a Star!

The Story: The boy looks at the stars every night and wishes that he has his own star. One morning he gets up early and waits all day until a star appears in the sky. He tries various ways of catching it but it is too high up for him to reach. Then he notices a star floating in the water but he can’t catch it. He goes to the beach and catches it when it is washed up on the shore.

How to Catch a Star’s protagonist, the boy, has a dream and the story captures his persistence in making his dream a reality. He is inventive in his attempts to catch a star, waiting from sunrise to sunset for a star to appear shows patience and determination. Unfortunately climbing trees, jumping and asking seagulls for help don’t help him. Just as he reaches his lowest point he notices the floating star. Another long wait ensues but his patience is eventually rewarded.

Oliver Jeffers realistically captures the boy’s thought process and problem solving ideas in his easy to read text. The font looks almost handwritten and is great for beginner readers. The simplicity of the colourful illustrations is appealing and imaginative. My daughter loves the ‘trees that look like lollipops’ and I love the way that fantasy elements eg. the boy’s spaceship are interwoven with familiar daytime routines and environments to give the message that, with determination, dreams can come true.

We read the story with my daughter’s friend (also five) and it was interesting to hear their different interpretations of the ending. My daughter was sure that the boy had caught a real star but her friend thought the star was a starfish. Each had their own view, one fantastical, one realistic, but were happy to acknowledge each other’s opinions.

Although constellations aren’t mentioned in the story it’s great to stimulate discussion about stars and the patterns they make in the sky. It’s the perfect bedtime story.

Age Range: 2 +

Author / Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

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24 responses to “How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers”

  1. Laura avatar

    I am so glad to find other people spreading the good word about this modern children’s classic! Your insight is spot on; great review!

    I paired my review of this book with some activities to help parents and/or teachers build on the excitement from the story’s theme of stars and space. I would love to know what you think!

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love the way that you include crafts in your posts. I’m looking forward to following your blog as it grows 🙂

  2. Lesley @ Australian Picture Books avatar

    Turning dreams into reality… hmm… love that idea. Will be looking for this book at the library, thanks Catherine

    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome Lesley, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

  3. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews avatar

    Thanks for reminding me of this one. I remember checking this one out of the library when my kids were little. Great, great book! thanks for joining us in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome, it’s a lovely book. I can’t believe it’s ten years old!

  4. Julie Grasso avatar

    Thanks so much for sharing your review with us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I did not know that this was Oliver Jeffers first book. So interesting to see what first caught a publishers attention, which then lead to his career blossoming. I am holding out for that first book, he he. Thanks again for joining us

    1. Catherine avatar

      Hi Julie, hopefully one day I’ll have that first book in my hand too! Good luck with your writing.

  5. Aileen Stewart avatar

    Stopping by from the blog hop to say hello. Thanks for sharing, this sounds like a really fun book. I love that each girl had a different opinion about the star.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It was interesting, lovely that they shared their ideas but also stuck to their own beliefs.

  6. Bruce Gargoyle avatar

    I just borrowed Stuck out of the library today but I haven’t read this one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      I haven’t read Stuck either, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  7. Single Mother Ahoy avatar

    This book looks fabulous; I might have to add it to our collection!
    Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a lovely book and the board book version is a really great size for little hands 🙂

  8. we3three avatar

    we love this book! such a simple message but beautifully put. #weekendbloghop

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a real classic isn’t it 🙂

  9. All about a Mummy avatar

    I have also reviewed this book on my blog this week. Great book. My daughter loves it xx

    1. Catherine avatar

      I just read your review. I recommended the book because we love it. I had no idea that it was celebrating a big birthday 🙂

  10. Kirsty avatar

    We are huge Oliver Jeffers fans and I love the magic of this beautiful story. Jeffers’ illustrations are so wonderful I always want to step right inside his world and be carried along by the story. Thank you so much for joining in with #kidsbookaweek

    1. Catherine avatar

      You’re welcome, this is one of my favourite Oliver Jeffers’ books 🙂

  11. Kriss MacDonald avatar

    My children adored this book when they were younger. After reading your review I’d like them now to read it to me and see what their interpretations are!

    1. Catherine avatar

      It was interesting hearing the two girls’ different interpretations. My daughter looked a bit unsure when her friend made her starfish suggestion but she didn’t waver in her belief that it was a real star.

  12. chantelle hazelden avatar

    We love this book in our house, fab story for the whole family. Thanks for linking up with #ReadWithMe I have tweeted and pinned this post x

    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you, I’m just having a browse of the #Readwithme posts now 🙂