A lone boy, leaning out of his bedroom window, trains his eyes upon the night sky. On his thin stick legs, the lone protagonist wanders from scene to scene – ones that are dominated by watercolour skies of pink, orange, blue and purple and long evening shadows stretching across the landscape – in pursuit of a star that has captured his imagination.
Jumping, climbing trees, even recruiting a seagull: all his efforts appear in vain, until he spots a star that has landed in the sea (one that those of us a little older and unwiser may believe to be a reflection in the water). Unable to reach it, he opts to wait on the beach and, just as his task seems futile, the tide brings it to shore. Whilst it is more likely a marine invertebrate than the cosmic wonder he had hoped for, it is nevertheless a satisfying ending for all concerned. A charming storyline and dreamy watercolour illustrations that perfectly capture boyish wonder and youthful determination.
A masterclass in patience and determination, this book conveys the message that there is as much beauty and adventure to be found on earth as there is in the heavens.
Illustrator Profile Born in Australia in 1977, Oliver Jeffers grew up in Northern Ireland. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York and has won countless illustration awards, including the CBI Bisto Award for How to Catch a Star. Although he focuses primarily on children’s books, his work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London and a collection of his illustrations, Neither Here nor There, was published by art and design powerhouse Gestalten in 2012. The boy and penguin from Lost and Found return in the sequel, Up and Down, published in 2011. Thus far (July) in 2014 he has won four new awards, three for his work with The Day The Crayons Quit, as well as The Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts 2014 Inaugural Hay Medal for an Outstanding Body of Work.