Tag Archives: stars

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

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catchastarcoverHow to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, hardback picture book, published by¬†HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks in 2004, this edition published in 2014.

After admiring the stars, a boy would like a star of his own. He tries different ways of catching a star right from the night sky.

We have enjoyed reading How to Catch a Star many times. It is an adorable picture book that will win the heart of any child. It always leaves me with a nice, warm feeling.

The story tells us that anything is possible, you might just have to think creatively to reach your goal. It is a literal reminder to¬†“aim for the stars!” and do your best.

The boy has a number of clever ideas on how to catch his star, but my favourite is his idea of using a life belt to lasso the star. My kids think the rocket would be best. We also like the distinctive illustrations, especially the trees.

How to Catch a Star is suitable for preschoolers and lower primary school children.

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Four Days to Fusion by Lira Brannon

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4days2fusioncoverFour Days to Fusion by Lira Brannon, e-book, 242 pages, published by White Bird Publications in 2015.

At fifteen all Seren wants to do is fit in. It’s kind of hard when her hair is screaming red and she constantly looks sunburnt, but things are looking up when the cute boy that she’s been mooning over invites her to the homecoming dance. She’s just getting to experience some normality, when her life is blown apart. Seren has forgotten she is a star, and that her mum and dad are actually her bodyguards, and she’s a little older than fifteen… Seren must return to the skies to claim her rightful place as a queen, but King Palomar wants to prevent that at all costs, and killing a few billion life forms, planets and solar bodies along the way doesn’t bother him at all.

Young adult science fiction at its best! Four Days to Fusion was entertaining, exciting and fast paced. I haven’t read much science fiction lately, but I am very glad I read this one. I was hooked from the first chapter, with Seren’s parents odd behaviour, and the action that followed. Lots of action in this story! It is told from a few different perspectives, but not difficult to follow at all. It’s a really great read.

Seren is a lovely lead character, full of self-doubt and clueless as to what she’s meant to do, but striving to do the right thing anyway. Although she has been often ostracised, she retains enough humanity and compassion to want to help others. I really liked Hy and O, their attitude reminded me of the fire demon in Howl’s Moving Castle, except they are water. It was interesting picturing this blob of water forming heads and limbs, and even moving about independently.

Trey and Emmett were the main male characters. Both were well written. Trey is somewhat dark and enigmatic, making him ever so more alluring. Emmett had his horrible sister around his neck like a chain, poor guy. There’s a little romance with Seren here, but it’s pretty tame.

Four Days to Fusion is suitable for high school students, but adults will also enjoy this wonderful ride into the galaxy. There is a preview of the next book in the series at the end, which left me quite excited for its release!

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Star Biscuits

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A starry biscuit.

A starry biscuit.

I recently bought a set of star cookie cutters, containing stars in five different sizes. I was very eager to try them out.

 

 

 

Cutting the cookie dough.

Cutting the cookie dough.

I used a basic cookie recipe from The Organised Housewife, it is the best cookie recipe ever! I rolled it out and then used one of the larger star cookie cutters to cut out the biscuits. I found it a little difficult to move the cookie dough in its star shape onto the baking tray without damaging it. To solve this, I carefully used an egg flip to lift each shape and slide it onto the baking tray. I cooked them until the were golden.

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Coles ready-to-roll icing.

Making the biscuits plain allowed me to decorate the top of them without going overboard with the flavours. From Coles I had purchased some pre-coloured ready-to-roll icing (fondant), which I used to make smaller stars to decorate the top of the biscuits. I used green, yellow and red, and made stars in three sizes using the smallest of the cookie cutters. To attach the fondant stars, I used a basic white icing mix (made with icing sugar mixture and milk). I iced each biscuit, and then carefully added some of the fondant stars to each one before the white icing could set.

It was a little fiddly working with the icing shapes as I hadn’t done much like that before, but I really liked the finished biscuits. They looked just how I had envisioned them.

Some of the finished biscuits.

Some of the finished biscuits.

Starry Stars

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The kids really like stars. I think their two favourite shapes at the moment are stars and love hearts. L, in particular, is going through a stage of drawing love hearts and stars on everything. So a simple post-dinner activity was placing star stickers onto a cardboard star.

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I drew the stars on a sheet of cardboard and cut them out, then I let the kids loose with two star shapes each, and several sheets of star stickers. A placed random stars all over hers, while L used the stars to make patterns, and even a face on one cardboard star. She also layered some of the stickers to make some stars with lots of points.

A placing star stickers.

A placing star stickers.

One of L's multi-stickered stars.

One of L’s multi-stickered stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once they were finished placing stickers, we taped some thick pink paper strips to the top of the stars to hang them by.

 

You may also like Sticker Names and Sticker Counting.