Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How To Catch a Star

I love picture books, and we have a lot of them.  I know reviews of picture books are not as needed when it comes to book reviews to help one decide what to read (b/c you read them in 10 minutes), but I wanted to include my thoughts and lesson ideas with some good picture books.  Everyone loves to read picture books, but adults usually don't allow themselves to read them unless they are reading them to a kid.  That is a great tragedy.  I think it's fun to go to a bookstore and read picture books.  Give it a shot; you will love it!

A couple of years ago I came across this Oliver Jeffers' book.  I really enjoy his writing style.  Now, that I think his writing style is very simple like Mo Willems' books.  He also illustrates his books like Mo Willems.  However, I think their similarities stop there.  Willems' books have more humor in them, and  Jeffers' style is more a unique story that can teach a deeper lesson.  I love books that have a good moral/lesson to them.  However, I think the book is better written when they don't have to explicitly tell the reader the lesson. Now, if the moral is funny and not the real moral then I think it's good to include it.  Is that confusing?nyways, a good book that teaches a deeper moral through the story rather than saying "the moral of the story is..." is a great book.  I love them!

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers is one of my little girl's (16 months old) favorite books.  The pictures are simple, the words are few on each page, and the story is incredibly cute.  I like this book for the story and the moral.  I like many of Jeffers' books; so, if you haven't read anything by him you should request one from the library.

How to Catch a Star is a wonderful story about a boy who loved stars; he loved stars so much that he wanted one of his own to play with.  Therefore, he set out to catch a star.  He had many different ideas on how to catch a star, and he tried many different ways to catch a star.  He finally got a star of his own, but it is not what you would expect.

How to Catch a Star is a great book for toddlers to elementary school students.  It is a great read aloud, and the pictures are simple enough that students in the back won't feel left out.  A teacher or librarian could use this book for many different things.  I think it could be a good brainstorm activity before you read the book.  As a class you could brainstorm how you would catch a star.  Then you could read the book and go back to your brainstorm web and see how you did and if you thought along the same lines as Jeffers, the author.  The students could then use this book as a writing prompt.  The students that need more assistance could write along the lines of "How to catch a star" and use the web that you created as a class.  They could also add their own thoughts.  The students you need to push a bit more could create their own "How to..." and write along those lines.  You could adapt this activity and use it at many different age levels.  I know there are many ways you could teach from this book, but that writing idea is just one I thought of.

Be sure to check-out some of Jerffers' other books.  I think you will enjoy his unique style as much as I do.

Happy reading!

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