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Book review: How to Catch a Star

Written By | May 5, 2013

SILVER SPRING, Md, May 5, 2013 – How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers ISBN: 9780399242861

“Once there was a boy and the boy loved stars very much.” Each night the boy stares out his window wishing for one of his own.  In the way only a child can, he imagines all the things he and his start friend would do together, like hide and seek, and taking walks on the beach.

He decides his best chance to catch a star would be in the morning when the star would be tired after being up all night, but after the sun rose, he could not see any stars. So, he sat down and waited…all day long. Just before the sun set, the first star appeared.  He jumped and tried to grab it, but it was too far. So, he climbs a tree, but still cannot reach. Then he thinks about lassoing it, and then tries his paper space ship. He asks a seagull for help, but finally he runs out of ideas.

The boy thought he would never catch a star, until he saw one reflected on the water. He tries to catch the reflection, but the water just rippled between his fingers. The sad boy started walking home when he saw a star washed up on the sand. In the way only a child can, he believes he has found a fallen star, and now it is his very own.

Photo by Robynlou Kavanagh.


The story really reflects the way a child think and the steps he would take to try to catch a star. It never occurs to the boy that the stars might be out of reach, and he demonstrates persistence and creativity in solving his problem.

The artwork is beautiful. Bright colors and simply drawn components really make the little boy seem like he could be any little boy wishing for the stars.


How to Catch a Star was Jeffers first venture into the world of children’s picture books and he met with great successIt won the Merit – CBI Bisto Book of the Year Awards and captured audiences around the world.

From there Oliver Jeffers has gone on to publish nine more picture book in both the UK and the US, and having been translated into several other languages, Jeffers work has captured audiences internationally. He has won numerous awards for his children’s books, including the Smarties Award, The Blue Peter Book of the Year, The Roald Dahl Prize and the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Photo by J. Aaron Farr. Click to enlarge.


While having ventured into the world of children’s literature, Olive Jeffers is first and foremost an acclaimed artist. To that point, the artwork stands on its own.

With such beautiful artwork and a great story, this is one you will want to add to your bookself. Published by Penguin Group, Inc in June of 2004, How to Catch a Star is available as a hardcover, paperback, or board book.


Brighid Moret

Brighid is a freelance writer, mother and reader. She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Find her on Twitter @BrighidMoret, or follow @BigReadsLittleH for the latest children's book reviews.