How to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers

cover image

HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978 0 00 715034 2.
(Ages 4+) Recommended. Picture book. Ambition. Our hero has aspirations, he wants to catch a star. He loves stars more than anything else and watches them avidly, thinking about how a star could be his friend, and they could do things together. He decides that he must catch a star, and so devises many plans to do just that. But each of his plans is thwarted and despondently he walks along the jetty, where he notices something floating in the water.
This is a lovely story. It is brimming with the notion of trying to achieve something which may be out of reach, of aspiring to get something, of keeping on trying despite failures. The boy is never daunted, always coming up with a new scheme to achieve his goal.
Children will love reading of his attempts and smile with him when he finally gets what he wants. In a classroom or at home, this story is a wonderfully positive look at trying your hardest, of trying different ways of achieving your goal, of never giving up.
The watercolour illustrations are just marvellous, using simple, clean lines to achieve a mountain of feeling and emotion. The pages of single colour, broken up with the small boy or a star, or a rocket ship, or jetty, simply sing as they draw the reader into the small world that is created by Jeffers, an award winning Irish author and artist.
Fran Knight