A Way to the Stars

A Way to the Stars

By Author / Illustrator

David Almond, Gill Smith


Family & Home

Age range(s)



Walker Books Ltd








An enchanting and heart-warming story between a father and son, that will make you want to reach for stars.

Joe wants to find a way to the stars. With the help of his dad, he builds a ladder, a tower, even a rocket to go up, up, up... Oh no! Crash, bang, wallop! What next?  Together, the pair jump on pogo sticks and build sheds to paint their dreams and find a way.

A Way to the Stars is an uplifting and magical tale of sky-high courage, imagination and the bond between father and son that will make your heart soar. Written by internationally acclaimed author David Almond and brought to glorious life by award-winning illustrator Gill Smith in their first collaboration.

Find out more in our Q&A with David Almond




A Way to the Stars is the latest picture book by David Almond. Maybe most famous for the excellent Skellig, I was excited to delve into this short picture book which has been beautifully illustrated by Gill Smith. The illustrations are warming and cosy despite being themed around space and the stars. Gill has done a superb job in capturing the underlying essence of the book.

The story centres round Joe, a young boy with the dream of reaching the stars. Mocked by his friends, he teams up with his dad to achieve this ambitious dream. Many methods and tried and tested - from ladders, to towers and even pogo sticks - but each ends in a similar style …. CRASH, BANG, WALLOP! Determined not to fail, the father/son team finally find the way in which Joe can reach the stars - and this time it doesn't end in catastrophe.

A Way to the Stars is a magical and uplifting tale of imagination, perseverance and connection. The narrative itself is simple and easy to follow but the true message that shines through is one that will touch all fathers who read….that time is precious and very opportunity should be taken to build memories which will last a lifetime.

Picture book / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


If you want a story to show resilience, then this A Way to the Stars is the go-to book! Joe wants to go to the stars. His friends laugh, but his Dad offers to help. After several humorous and failed attempts; with many whoops! Oh no! Crash! Bangs! And wallops!, Joe and his Dad refuse to give up. Late one day, they go into the shed they built and paint the moon, stars and galaxies. Here they sleep and finally Joe's dream comes true.

The illustrations of this book work well alongside the text structure, adding more humour and context to Joe's attempted, and failed, events in the story! Watch Joe as he builds a tall tower, falls from the sky into a pile of leaves and much more, all whilst still smiling and carrying on trying.

A Way to the Stars is a great book to share and discuss with children to aid them in their personal development of resilience.

Picture book / Reviewed by Maria Faithorn, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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