how to catch a star

January 11, 2010

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

If you go to the library this week, please look for this book! I promise, you will not be disappointed. It's beautiful--both the illustrations and the story. (It's by the same author of Lost and Found that I mentioned last week!)

This story is about a boy who loves stars. He has a wish to catch one some day and sets out to do so. He looks everywhere and one night he sees one in the sky. He tries to jump, but can't reach high enough, so he climbs a tree. Again, no luck. He then tries to lasso it with a life preserver, but that effort falls short as well.

He wishes for a rocket to fly to the sky, but the only one he owns is "made of paper, and it didn't fly well at all." He tries to enlist a seagull's help (to fly him to the star), but "the only seagull he could find didn't want to help." Birds can be so unhelpful.

He then sees a "baby star" floating on the water (a reflection). "But when the boy reached out to touch the star, it just rippled through his fingers. Now the boy was sad. But in his heart, the wish just wouldn't give up."

As he is walking home, he sees a shooting star in the sky and then discovers it lying on the beach. "The boy had caught a star! A star of his very own."

The final page shows the boy and his star sitting in an armchair reading a book together. What a perfect ending. I love how the illustrations are gorgeous watercolor images, I love that the story is beautiful on both a literal and figurative level, and I love that it's the kind of story that you want to read over and over again with your child.

Juliet fell in love with this story and even began using the phrase "of my very own" as a result of this book. Now she refers to things like "a spoon of my very own" and a "pillow of my very own" whenever she is talking about something that is HERS.

I had thought about cutting out a paper star and letting her decorate it so she could have a star of "her very own", but we haven't gotten around to that yet.

We HAVE been spending a lot of time in her darkened room, looking at the stars on her ceiling thanks to this fun LadyBug Nightlight she got for Christmas.

It's magical and it is the perfect companion for other great star and moon books like

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me  Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle and

Harold's Trip to the SkyHarold's Trip to the Sky by Crockett Johnson.


Playing by the book said...

Vanessa!! I have literally this afternoon finished a post on this same book :-) My post won't go live for a few days though.... I honestly think we're getting the same books at the same time at the moment!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I've seen those nightlights reviewed on other blogs and always wondered what the projection on the ceiling looks like. My son would approve of the rocket on the front cover.

vanessa said...

Zoe, that is too funny! We do have similar tastes in it only makes sense! Can't wait to see what you and the girls did with this one.

Brimful--the stars look really bright and clear on the ceiling--her room is not that big, but stars cover the entire ceiling--so it is a nice starlit sky effect. Their are constellations, but it is not an accurate model of the night sky--I was kind of hoping it would be more true to life, but for a 3 year old, it's quite magical.

Niki said...

Hi Vanessa, thanks for commenting on my blog :o) My little boy is fascinated with torches and shadows. He plays with his Ben10 torch everynight when he is in bed, changing the character shapes on the end of it and having them run across the ceiling.

Richard Hanks said...

I love Oliver Jeffers, probably more than my 18 month old! For Christams she got a gift set of one of his other books, The Way Back Home I love reading the book to her and she loves playing with the intergalactic walkie-talkie.

Just spotted a How to Catch a Star: Star-Gazer Gift Set - looks brilliant!

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