Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Catch a Star (Oliver Jeffers) at Kiddie Book Club

Posted by lea at 5:45 PM
The major benefit of working as a freelance copywriter is having a flexible schedule that allows me to attend events as illustrious as the Kiddie Book Club, where today I had the honour of being a Guest Reader.

Kiddie Book Club is run by my good friend Haej Wolfson, who also happens to have the biggest heart and largest capacity of just about anyone I know. By 'capacity' I mean the sheer number of events, people, jobs and children she can juggle without breaking a sweat.

So with four little members aged from almost-two to four eager to hear a story (the book club is only in its infancy), I opened and read How to Catch a Star, written by one of my favourite artists and children's book author/illustrators Oliver Jeffers.

How to Catch a Star is a beautiful story about a young boy who dreams of having a star as a friend, and schemes ways of catching one from the sky. While reading it today, I learnt a major lesson about reading to children: keep their focus on the story.

Children can be truly enigmatic in their ability to swing from ADD-like shoutiness to autismic focus in a millisecond. I made the mistake very early on of asking, 'how many stars can you count on this page?', which of course caused them to shout out loud the number of stars on every page I turned, completely ignoring the unfolding storyline.

I'd like to think they got something out of it though, as they switched from fighting over a headband to fighting over a little confetti star afterwards.

Thanks for the honour Kiddie Book Club! Call on me anytime.

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