How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

So, it turns out that a LOT of very well-known picture books are perfect books to read when focusing on fostering a growth mindset in children (and adults!). And, many of these happen to be books that are favorites in our house, too — I’m looking at you, Rosie Revere, After the Fall, The Most Magnificent Thing, The Bad Seed, and more! (For my full list of 25+ books fostering growth mindets, be sure to check out this post.) So, over the course of Growth Mindset January, as I try to share more wonderful books with you, I’m going to try to highlight some delightful growth mindset picture books that you might not already know and love. Up first, I’ve got How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers.


How to Catch a Star, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (this is actually his first of many amazing children’s books, published in 2004), tells the story of a little boy who loves stars. In fact, he feels so strongly about stars that he decides he needs to catch one to keep as his own. So, he makes a plan…

But, his plan doesn’t quite work out. Does the boy give up? Of course not! That wouldn’t make a very good growth mindset story, now would it? Instead, he waits… and waits some more… and waits some more… until he’s ready to try to nab a star. Unfortunately, Plan A doesn’t work. Neither does Plan B. Or Plan C. But just when you think he’s going to give up on his dream (because we, as readers, know that he can’t possibly actually catch a star), Jeffers writes an incredibly impactful sentence instead:

“Now the boy was sad. But in his heart, the wish just wouldn’t give up.”

Wow. How many of us have given up on our wishes, leaving them tucked away in the recesses of our hearts, even though they still exist? So many of us, adults and children alike, have dreams that still poke their heads out every now and then, dreams that make us wistfully reflect on what might have been if we had followed through with the wish, instead of giving up when things seemed impossible!

Oliver Jeffers, thank you for How to Catch a Star and the invaluable reminder that sometimes, our wishes don’t give up, and neither should we.

What is your favorite Oliver Jeffers book? Have you read How to Catch a Star yet?

If you liked this post, check out these other posts:

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