How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers (and a SUPER giveaway!)

One of the very first books that I ever bought for J and Little E was ‘How to Catch a Star’ by Oliver Jeffers.

Oliver Jeffers is an artist, raised in Ireland, who makes picture books (amongst other things) – and these pictures books are favourites here at Owls Well. We love his books for their deceptively simple illustrations, quirky humour and underlying themes of curiosity and discovery.

Oliver Jeffers actually recently documented his trip to Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where he celebrated the 10th Anniversary of ‘How to Catch a Star’ with the release of a new edition which has some previously unpublished drawings in it! I am not surprised that the book has already become a classic.

book-kids-star-jeffers-picture

Picture Credit: Oliver Jeffers

The story itself is simple and sweet, about a boy searching for a star of his very own and finding a friend. He tries several different methods to obtain his goal, and just when he is about to give up, he finds out that special treasures can be found in unexpected places.

When J and Little E found out that their favourite book had been adapted into a stage play by Blunderbus Children’s Theatre UK, they were both really very excited! The flyer for the play, which has been brought to Singapore by ABA productions (who also organised KidsFest 2014), is still lying underneath J’s pillow, along with all his special treasures.

I had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with the lead actor, Benjamin Sbuttoni, and Simon Sanchez, the Blunderbus Outreach Co-ordinator.

1. What inspired you to choose this particular book to adapt into a play?

 ‘How to Catch a Star’, jumped out at us straight away. The story is funny, beautiful, and the little boy is a wonderful character who is determined to achieve his goal…to catch his star.

The story gave us lots of ideas for what we could put on the stage. There are epic moments like travelling through space in his space rocket, and there are intimate moments like when the little boy is all alone with just his teddy bear for company.

We look for a story which will engage children (and adults) on different levels and ‘Star’ does that and so much more.

2. What were the major challenges that you faced in translating ‘How to Catch a Star’ from page to stage, and how did you work around them? 

We see challenges as opportunities. Opportunities to be more imaginative, more creative, and push ourselves to create the best story we can. For example, in our show we use puppets, and if there is any a point that an actor can’t do something, then we get the puppet to do it.

We find that by seeing every struggle as a possibility to excel, then we end up with a show that the children will love.

3. What message would you like children to take away at the end of the show?
To never stop dreaming and one day you’ll reach the stars!
blunderbus theatre stageplay

Picture Credit: Blunderbus Theatre

The play opens next week, on the 24 April 2014 at SOTA’s Drama Theatre, and my whole family is going to be there!

I cannot wait to see it!

A Special Surprise for Owl’s Well Readers: ABA Productions is kindly sponsoring a giveaway of a Family Set of 4 top tier Category 1 tickets (worth SGD$248) to the Opening Performance of How to Catch a Star on Thursday April 24th at 5pm, right here on Owls Well! Huzzah!

To take part in the Giveaway just:

  1. Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
  2. Share this post on your Facebook page and tag a friend – make sure your post is set to public
  3. Leave a comment below telling me your favourite kid’s book and the name of your Facebook account that you used to like the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)

(Giveaway is open to readers in Singapore and will end at midnight on 20th April 2014. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 3 easy steps!)

Good luck!

Update: Evelyn is our winner – thanks for playing!

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42 thoughts on “How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers (and a SUPER giveaway!)

    • Oooh, Amelia Bedelia? I have not heard of this one myself – I must go and do my research. I find it really difficult looking for good books for girls.

  1. Hi Debs, thanks for popping by my blog. Oliver Jeffers’ one of my new likes! love his wit and simple humour! I got his ‘stuck’ and ‘Up and down’. Would love to go for this drama with the kiddos! How did you manage to get that interview? way too cool!

    • Yes, I bought ‘Lost and Found’ for a friend before I had J, and when he was born, the first book set I bought was the Oliver Jeffers ‘Boy’ series, with ‘Lost and Found’, ‘How to Catch a Star’ and ‘The Way Back Home’.

  2. My daughter’s favourite book is Roald Dahl’s Matilda .She loves it very much and she loved the story-line so much that she has told the story to almost all her friends and my relatives and would even enact the portions where Matilda would be alone in her house to me.She loves reading Roald Dahl’s works,Oliver Jeffers and Enid Blyton very much.Though she hasn’t finished reading the whole set as she is only an emergent reader, she makes sure each time she goes to library, she takes at least 1 book from these 3 authors.
    Facebook name:Arsheitha Ganesan

    • I love Roald Dahl’s Matilda too! I have that on audiobook (the BBC radio adaptation) because my kids are too young to read it themselves – it makes for a great travel companion.

  3. Pingback: Blunderbus Theatre Company presents How to Catch A Star – A review | Owls Well

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