This featured nature book for kids Touch the Brightest Star is an interactive picture book written by Christie Matheson for children ages 4-8. The suggestions for actions on each page like “Touch the firefly to light up the sky” lend well to the abilities of the age group of children that the story is intended for.
My Experience with Touch the Brightest Star
I have used Touch the Brightest Star with my daughter as a great way to settle in for the night. We also used it the night of the Perseid meteor shower as a way to get ourselves pumped up for shooting stars (meteors that is!).
Touch the Brightest Star Craft
To prepare ourselves for our shooting star adventure we created a fun process shooting star/meteor craft: a sensory shooting star bag. We used a sandwich bag, packing tape, glow in the dark pony beads and other colored pony beads, star confetti, and hair gel. We poured the hair gel into the sandwich bag, added a handful of glow in the dark beads and colored beads as well as a handful of star confetti, zipped up the bag and covered the top with packing tape to keep it from opening. We then squished our stars making them move from side to side just like a meteor.
Touch the Brightest Star Outdoor Activities
On August 12th, 2017 Earth passed very closely to the Swift-Tuttle comet which creates a lot of meteors from its dust and debris falling through the atmosphere. My daughter, husband and I went out to our backyard with lawn chairs, bug nets, a bug canopy and Touch the Brightest Star in hand. We set up our lawn chairs facing north, as this is where most of the meteors were supposed to be visible from, sat down and read our story. As we waited for our eyes to adjust we used our bug nets to catch fireflies that were drifting above the lawn; our daughter mentioned how there were fireflies outside just like there were in the book. We also watched the bats eloquently fly around saving us from the mosquitoes. We could very easily see the Big Dipper which we traced in the sky just like we had in the book. Then falling stars appeared! Our little one did her best to stay awake and view the meteors but since it was nearly two hours passed her bedtime she continued to drift in and out of consciousness. It was a brilliant shower with a few incredibly bright and long lasting meteors.
Overall, I absolutely LOVE Touch the Brightest Star! Christie Matheson does such a nice job of bringing in movement, action and interactivity to her stories it makes it a joy for the parent as well as the child. I also love that she teaches scientific concepts on a relate-able level to the age group she is catering to. This story teaches children some nocturnal animals, asterisms (parts of constellations like the Big Dipper) and other astrological concepts. Take some time and read this to your youngster, you will not be disappointed!