Me + Oliver Jeffers’ picture books= love
My oldest son adores them too, by the way.
Written and illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers
Published by: HarperCollins (2005)
Theme/Genre: perseverence, following dreams, imagination; fiction
Opening: “Once there was a boy and the boy loved stars very much. Every night the boy watched the stars from his window and wished he had one of his very own.”
Synopsis: …..Every night he watched the stars in the sky from his bedroom window and dreamed of how he could be their friend and how they could play hide-and-go-seek together. So, one day, he decided to set about catching a star for himself . (HarperCollins)
Why I like it: Jeffers’ captures well the perspective of a child, in this case the imagination of a little boy who dreams up different plans to catch a star (a lasso! a rocket ship! a seagull!). Noted for his use of space and composition in illustration, Jeffers’ has a great talent in creating illustrations that speak a story just as much as the text. Infused with subtle humour and playful watercolour illustrations, “How to Catch a Star” succeeds in celebrating the tenacious spirit of a little boy, who does indeed catch a star…fish?! (you can see for yourself) But a star, nonetheless.
Check out this clip of the artist in his studio if you’d like to know more about him. Also, you can read my musings about two of his other books here.
Resources: There are plenty of star crafts I can think of. Dollar stores may have cookie cutter shapes for stars and moons, which you could then use with playdough to create your own stars. You can also make a mobile of stars, using a coat hanger, string, cardboard and tinfoil, construction paper, sparkles, etc. to decorate. Or do a variation of the fishing game, where you put a paper clip on the end of a star cut out of thick cardstock, and go fishing for stars with a magnet on the end of a stick. Pinterest space unit has plenty more ideas (and no I’m not a Pinterest addict, but I’ve been told it’s a good place to check out ideas for classes!)
Some children aren’t so interested in crafts, but are more science and nature oriented…I know mine would prefer looking through a telescope at actual stars. There are some really good astronomy websites out there for children: http://www.starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html