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How to Catch a Star Paperback – International Edition, October 13, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Boy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K–In this whimsical picture book, a young stargazer decides he wants to catch a star. He ventures out at sunrise since he believes the stars will be "tired from being up in the sky all night." He waits all day, only to see one at sunset. The many schemes he concocts prove ineffective, and the sad child heads home along the beach. When he sees a sea star washed up on the sand, he is happy at last to have a star of his own. While the boy's original plan is counterintuitive, the rest of his schemes hold true for what a young child might dream up. The stylized watercolor cartoons are droll and lighthearted, resonating well with the tone of the story. Pair this with Kevin Henkes's Kitten's First Full Moon (Greenwillow, 2004) to share some nighttime adventures at storytime.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Oliver is a young boy who loves stars and wants one for himself. But no matter how high he reaches, the stars he chooses are out of reach. The seagull can't help him; perhaps a rocket ship might. Even when it appears that a star has fallen into the water, Oliver finds he's only grasping at a reflection. Jeffers uses a panoply of geometric figures (Oliver's head is ball, trees are lines topped with circles and decorated with squares) colored in jewel tones to tell the story. Although the pictures are spare, they have a haunting quality and much child appeal. Kids will like the end of the story, as well: Oliver finds a starfish on the beach that satisfies his longing. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (August 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007150342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007150342
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Sevick on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, I felt I had to write a review on this book to explain my 2 star rating. My daughter is three, will be four in a few months, and loves reading time with daddy. We were both pretty excited for this new book, as the ratings were really good and the appropriate age range listed (3-6) was perfect. Unfortunately I think that range is off depending on what you are going to do with this book.

It is a nicely drawn book, but the problem is the story. It is very basic and very lightly worded. I was turning pages pretty fast to keep the story moving for my daughter. If you are reading this book to your child then the age range might be better for a two year old as an early book when they are more visual. Or, this could be a good first book your child could read on their own.

I also have to say I feel like I'm reviewing the 'product details' more than the book on it's own. If the recommended age was lower then I wouldn't have bought. But, I think people should know so they aren't disappointed as I was.

five stars for a two year old book, or an early read on their own book.

two stars for a 3-6 year old book that you are going to read to your child
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Format: Hardcover
How to Catch a Star is a story of a young boy who tries again and again to catch a star, then sees a star reflected in the water and figures it fell from the sky. He tries to grab it, but it just slips through his fingers. On the walk along the beach to his home, he finds a starfish and thinks it's a star from the sky. The last picture is of the boy sitting with his starfish and reading to it. Even though the story has been told before (think Pooh), it's always magical, and the illustrations are simple, yet mesmerizing. This is a wonderful bedtime book and would also make a great read-aloud in a classroom, where it could be used in a beginning astronomy unit.
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Format: Hardcover
My son just turned 5, and this book has gone into the top rotation over the last 3 or 4 months. He has also taken a great interest in space over the same period. He wants to travel to Mars, since I pointed out in the night sky recently. He's asking about other planets, that sort of thing.

Anyway the illustrations are beautiful, Jeffers style can appeal to the young and old. The story plays upon a young child's wish to have a star of their very own, and the ways a young child would dream of catching one. I think a precocious three year old, up to a 6 year old could enjoy this story.

And just about every parent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 3 year old son absolutely loves this book. He relates so much to what the boy goes through. Having a rocketship that doesn't work too well. Trying to find a seagull that will help fly him up. Finding a tall tree to climb up. He has the entire story memorized and when we read it, we really do read it together.

The illustrations are very well done. The shadows move under the trees as the time changes from dawn to morning to lunch to afternoon to evening. The story is simple, but you can talk to your child about what they would do the same or differently on each page in trying to catch a star.

Each page can be viewed from an adult perspective or a child's perspective. Does the boy just find a starfish? Or did the boy find the shooting star from three pages back?
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This is a really cute story about a boy who wants to catch a star in the sky and how he goes about trying to do it. If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be whimsical. The story is very simple, but the art really brings it to life. You really feel the imagination it takes for a little one to decide to catch a star! As an adult, I wouldn't ever even think of trying to catch a star, but this encompasses the essence of being a child and believing that you can do anything! It isn't very often that a board book makes me think deeply like this one has.

On top of that, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous! This is one of the best illustrated board books I have come across! It helps the story come to life for both my son and I. What more can you ask for in a book than to take you somewhere special and make you think about life!
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Format: Hardcover
Once there was a boy and that boy loved stars very much. In fact, he could think of nothing grander than catching his own star to call his friend in How to Catch a Star (2004) by Oliver Jeffers.

Jeffers's whimsical first picture book blends easy to follow text with sharp, clean illustrations to create something remarkable. Everything about this story invites readers to stop for moment and plan their own scheme to catch that elusive star.

It's not easy to build suspense into a 32 page picture book, but Jeffers manages it. Will the boy catch the star? Will he find a friend? It's hard to say in the begining--but don't worry, everything works out in the end.

The clear, short sections of text combined with large, often full-page, illustrations make How to Catch a Star ideal for reading aloud or for early readers.

Possible Pairings: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 2.5 year old loves this book, as do I. It doesn't get old to read. I find the message of having an impossible dream but not giving up very inspirational and important, even if sometimes it means revising your dream along the way. I love Oliver Jeffers books and this one is no exception.
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