How to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers (2004)

Okay team, I’ve got a challenge for you. Try to make a noise that is somewhere between a sudden moment of clarity and a lovely warm feeling of all the good things. If you read this book aloud to an audience, I can guarantee any adults present, who haven’t seen this book before, will simultaneously emit this sound at page 28.

In New Zealand we have a celebration called Matariki, essentially Maori New Year, celebrated when the Matariki stars (also known as the Pleiades) rise in mid-winter. How to catch a star was always my very favourite picture book to include in Matariki storytime.IMG_1203

A small star-loving boy wishes for a star of his own. His many and varied efforts, sadly come up short. Seagulls? Useless! When he’s on the cusp of giving up, a sparkly star in the water catches his eye. “It was the prettiest star he had ever seen. Just a baby star. It must have fallen from the sky.” We’re nearly at page 28 and I really don’t want to rob you of your a-ha/joyful noise so I’ll stop talking.

Oliver Jeffers is all-round great, his picture books are guaranteed storytime winners with children and adults alike. His ideas, storytelling and illustrations are… nope I haven’t got a word that finishes that sentence properly. He hardly needs an introduction, I’ll let you fill in your own word.

Check out How to catch a star at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy How to catch a star by Fishpond.

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