How To Catch A Star by Oliver Jeffers

Values: Determination, Imagination and Hope.

How To Catch A Star is a simple yet powerful story all about determination, imagination and hope. It is the tale of a boy who loves stars very much. He is desperate to catch a star for himself and tries every way to do this that he can think of - he climbs the tallest tree; he tries to persuade a seagull to help him; he even attempts to build a spaceship. Alas, the little boy cannot reach his beloved star. Until something happens that enables the little boy to reach his goal...

The story shows an immense level of determination. This is the key Value that runs through the book and has been recognised by children as young as 5 years old. I have read this book in a whole-school assembly and both the older and younger children have been able to identify times when they have had to persevere and show determination in order to achieve their goal.

The child in the book shows the vivid imagination that we know young children possess. He talks to birds, he creates tools to help him and he waits an extraordinary time for the day to turn to night, showing real patience. The Early Years setting at my school attached a star to the ceiling and asked the children how they could get it down. Arguably, their responses were far more creative and imaginative than perhaps older children's ideas may have been.

Lastly, a Value that we don't always see represented for the very young is hope. The little boy had a hope to reach the star and he didn't let the obstacles in his way hinder his progress. He thought outside of the box and he never gave up on his hope. I think this discussion with children can be really interesting and insightful - what are their hopes and how might they try to achieve them?

For me, this is a classic book and although is possibly more suited to EYFS and KS1, I have used it right up to Year 6. Year 6s are not too old for picture books! This book should be a staple for your Values bookshelf.

Find your copy here or in a local, independent bookshop and follow Oliver Jeffers on Twitter: @OliverJeffers

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