There are few things more frustrating than losing something. Last week, my light-fingered three-year-old moved my Fitbit. Being three, our conversation about where he’d put it was… taxing.
“Ben, have you seen Mummy’s Fitbit?”
“Yes Ben seen it.”
“Did you touch Mummy’s Fitbit?”
“Yes Ben put it away.”
* My eye may or may not be twitching at this point *
“Can you please Mummy where her Fitbit is?”
“Yes it’s… ummm… here.”
* For your benefit, he’s pointing at a pot plant *
“No. No it isn’t. Where else could it be my little sugar plum?”
* Last bit may have been said through clenched teeth *
“Umm, I wonder if it’s in Ben’s room?”
And so the treasure hunt began. For five days that Fitbit was lost. And then it occurred to me to sync it with my phone to see if it was still in house, rather than down a drain. It did cross my mind that the app may show the Fitbit registering steps. At which point, I decided such steps would be because a) Ben had managed to strap it to an animal or b) we had a poltergeist. Given we have no pets and no penchant to live with ghosts, I decided if there were steps, we were moving out.
Thankfully… it synced, and even better, it was step-less. Hurrah! And the next day I found it, squirreled away under Ben’s bed! While losing stuff is frustrating… finding stuff is magical! Just ask the two little ones in ‘Star in the Jar’ by Sam Hay and Sarah Massini.
While out looking for treasure, a little boy finds something extra special… a star. As virtuous little souls, he and his sister then bustle about trying to find its owner. “If no one has lost it,” my little brother said, “that means I can keep it!”
The new treasure is prized above all else and is carefully placed inside a jar, where it begins to look a bit… sad. Then one night, up in the sky… a message. “LOST one small star.”
The little boy and girl try all sorts of tricks to get the star home, before eventually find the most wonderful way to send a message back.
The idea for this story is a little like ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all rolled into one – it’s unexpectedly magical. Sam’s writing is beautiful; it’s a treat to read aloud with all of its fizzing and crackling and swirling and whirling. And it’s beautifully sparse, yet empathetic – perfect for the littlest readers – while at no point becoming overly sentimental. Sarah’s illustrations are just as touching – lovingly bringing the relationship between the two children to life.