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.

How to Catch a Star - Story SnugOliver 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

24 thoughts on “How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

    • 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

Leave a Reply