We are a house of book lovers there is no doubt. Over the summer however we lost our way with books and out doors excursions took over. With the start of the school year now in plain sight we are getting back to our little traditions of book reading in the evening or at bedtime.
When choosing bedtime books I generally let the kids take turns in picking what we will read with the exception of baby Jack who right now has no interest in literary content unless it tastes good, literally.. So he can choose a half eaten book for himself out of his little pile that I will read to him later.
This week our bedtime story was chosen by Conor (who camps out in Easons Bookstore in Castlebar every time we go in). He loves the large books with lots of visually appealing illustrations with fewer words as he is not reading yet and primarily communicates & understands the world around him through pictures. The Author/Illustrator Oliver Jeffers did not disappoint in his premier work “How to catch a Star”.
How to Catch A Star
Written and Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers and first published by Harper Collins Children’s Books just over ten years ago. When this book lands on your shelf it will become a much loved part of your family, I have no doubt.
The story is all about a little boy who loved stars very much, so much so that he begins a quest to find & possess his very own star. The boy faces many almost impossible challenges on his quest to make his dream of having his very own star come true.
We follow the boy through the 32 illustrated pages and it is clear from the outside that this is one determined little boy, trying various sometimes hilarious ways to catch a star of his very own. We see him longingly staring up at his beloved star, waiting all day, climbing trees, contemplating using his spaceship but for the lack of petrol as he used it to get to the moon last Tuesday, seeking the help of a seagull, who would not help at all.
The boy eventually catches the reflection of his beloved star in the sea and through his own creativity in the end he becomes the owner of what he believes to be a fallen star from the sky.
The book is a real page turner and it is a testament to Jeffers that he can fill the 32 short pages with suspension, humor, whimsical illustrations, in an easily to relate manner. The written text is short, easy to follow and listen to combine that with the sharp & clear illustration, you can see why this book is still ranked among the best sellers of it’s category.
From a special needs perspective, Conor really enjoyed the book, in particular the illustrations which tell the story so clearly and aptly. The pages were easy to turn for someone who may not have excellent fine motor skills and the bright colors and images were very engaging.
For any child reading the book or listening to it being read, they will leave with the feeling that they to can overcome challenges and obtain their hearts desires, making their dreams come true with determination and will power alone.
Hailey is 7 and is more than capable of reading the short text in the book yet she too was enthralled, primarily by the vague, crisp images used, as she could see herself in the boy and recognized her own surroundings in that which the boy found himself. An excellent book for children who are at the early readers stage too, as the images together with the short text will help guide them and the boy on his journey.
Hailey put it best when I asked her what she felt the book was all about. She said that it was all about trying really hard, doing your very best for what you want and in the end you will make your dreams come true. Conor spent along time after the book was finished being read, looking through it’s pages and especially at the star’s reflection in the sea. I like to think he sees himself in the boy, over coming so many challenges and in the end achieves his dreams.
How to Catch a Star; a book well worth reading as it encourages our children to believe in their abilities and dreams and tells them through persistent determined efforts you will be rewarded with your dreams coming true.