Tag Archives: Oliver Jeffers

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Be prepared to fall madly in love with the most stunning celebration of books that you will ever read!


Ever since I first heard about A Child of Books I have been eagerly awaiting its release.  It is the first collaboration between Oliver Jeffers and another artist, typographical fine artist Sam Winston.  There have been a few teaser images, showing illustrations made up of text, and I knew I needed to have this book.  It has just been released and it is absolutely stunning!

A Child of Books is about a little girl who sails her raft ‘across a sea of words’ to arrive at the house of a small boy. She invites him to come away with her on an adventure where they can journey through ‘forests of fairy tales’, ‘across mountains of make-believe’ and ‘sleep in clouds of song’. Guided by his new friend, the boy unlocks his imagination and a lifetime of magic lies ahead of him… But who will be next?

A Child of Books is a celebration of stories, books and reading, that you will want to read again and again.  It’s one of those books that you will find something new in each time you read it.  You might notice a line from a book that you missed the last time or note the significance of a particular line of text.  I want to take this book everywhere with me and show it to everyone I meet.  However, I also want to take the book apart and have the pages on the walls of my house and my school library to look at every day.

Oliver Jeffers’ characteristic illustrations and hand drawn text that I already love is combined with Sam’s astonishing typographical landscapes that I couldn’t get enough of.  Sam has taken excerpts from classic children’s stories and nursery rhymes, from Treasure Island to Alice and Wonderland, and shaped them into stunning creations.  There is an ocean made from castaway stories and clouds made from lullabies.

If I ever doubt why I do what I do all I need to do is open this book.  If anyone questions the validity of libraries and librarians all I need to do is put this book in their hands.  A Child of Books is my picture book of the year and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Buy this book for your collection and share it with everyone in your life.

1 Comment

Filed under books

Imaginary Fred Book Trailer

Imaginary Fred is the first collaboration between two giants of children’s literature, Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer.  I’m a huge fan of both of these guys so I’m very excited to read this book.

Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred… Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other

Here is a funny book trailer for Imaginary Fred:

Imaginary Fred is available this month from HarperCollins NZ.

Leave a comment

Filed under book trailer, books, picture books

My Most Anticipated October Kids Releases from HarperCollins NZ

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred… Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other.

Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross

Jack’s Grandpa…

  • Wears his slippers to the supermarket
  • Serves up Spam à la Custard for dinner
  • And often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But he can still take to the skies in a speeding Spitfire and save the day…

An exquisite portrait of the bond between a small boy and his beloved Grandpa – this book takes readers on an incredible journey with Spitfires over London and Great Escapes through the city in a high octane adventure full of comedy and heart.

The Person Controller by David Baddiel

Fred and Ellie are twins. But not identical (because that’s impossible for a boy and a girl). They do like all the same things, though. Especially video games. Which they are very good at. They aren’t that good, however, at much else – like, for example, football, or dealing with the school bullies.

Then, they meet the Mystery Man, who sends them a video game controller, which doesn’t look like any other controller they’ve ever seen. And it doesn’t control any of their usual games. When the twins find out what it does control, though, it seems like the answer to all their problems. And the key to all their wildest dreams. At least it seems like that…

An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo

1940. Barney and his mother, their home destroyed by bombing, are travelling to the country when their train is forced to shelter in a tunnel from attacking German planes. There, in the darkness, a stranger on the train begins to tell them a story. A story about Bobby Byron, the most decorated soldier of WW1, who once had the chance to end the war before it even began, and how he tried to fix his mistake. But sometimes the right thing is hard to see – and even harder to live with.

Leave a comment

Filed under children's fiction, new releases, picture books

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

I absolutely love The Day the Crayons Quit, the hilarious collaboration between Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers about Duncan and his crayons.  If you haven’t seen this picture book you need to grab a copy IMMEDIATELY! It features letters for Duncan, written by his crayons who feel overused, underappreciated and unhappy.  When I saw that Drew and Oliver were publishing a follow-up I was super excited!  The Day the Crayons Came Home is out now and (if this is possible) even funnier than the first book.

The Day the Crayons Came home starts with Duncan and his crayons colouring happily together, when a stack of postcards arrives in the mail for him.  What follows are postcards from Duncan’s crayons that have been lost, forgotten, broken – even melted in a clothes dryer and stuck to a pair of underpants!  There are postcards from Pea Green Crayon (AKA Esteban the Magnificent), Neon Red Crayon, Glow-in-the-Dark Crayon and Big Chunky Toddler Crayon and many more.  Duncan must come up with a creative way to make his crayons feel included.

This is a brilliant picture book!  I couldn’t get through the book without laughing – in fact, every page had me cracking up.  It is a perfect combination of text and illustration and it’s very clever.  Drew Daywalt has given each of the crayons a very clear voice and they’re each very distinctive.  It certainly comes across how angry, upset or totally clueless the crayons are.  It’s so hard to pick a favourite crayon but I think mine would have to be Pea Green Crayon or Esteban the Magnificent as he likes to be called.  Oliver Jeffers’ artwork is stunning as always.  His illustrations are full of humour and add extra character to each of the crayons.  There are lots of little details to love about Oliver’s illustrations, from the crayon end papers, to the hand-drawn text and the use of real postcards.  One of the coolest aspects of this book is that there is a special glow-in-the-dark drawing on one of the pages that will be a lot of fun to share with kids.

The Day the Crayons Came Home is one of those rare picture books that children of all ages will love and adults will only be too happy to read it over and over again.  I know I’ll be sharing it with as many children as possible.

The Day the Crayons Came Home is available now from HarperCollins NZ.

Leave a comment

Filed under picture books

Learn to draw from Oliver Jeffers and Jeff Kinney

If you’ve run out of things to keep your kids entertained in the last few days of the holidays why not get them drawing.  Who better to teach them than Oliver Jeffers and Jeff Kinney!

Oliver Jeffers teaches you how to draw a moose.

Jeff Kinney teaches you how to draw Greg Heffley

Jeff Kinney teaches you how to draw Manny Heffley


Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, Illustrators

Meet the wonderful Oliver Jeffers

I thought Oliver Jeffers was awesome before I saw this video, but now he’s just reached an all new level of awesomeness!  I’ve been a huge fan of Oliver since his first book was published and I’ve loved everything he’s created so far, from his own picture books to illustrations for other authors, such as John Boyne and David Almond.  His books are wonderful and it’s great to get this entertaining insight into his creative process.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, children's fiction, Illustrators, picture books

Picture Book Nook: This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is one of those illustrators that can do nothing wrong.  Whichever book he writes and/or illustrates is wonderful, whether it’s his own picture books, or illustrations for other authors’ books, such as John Boyne.  Oliver’s latest picture book, This Moose Belongs to Me, is another beautifully illustrated tale.

“Wilfred owned a moose. He hadn’t always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW, that it was meant to be his. He thought he would call him Marcel.”

Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules on How to Be a Good Pet. But one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own …
Is Marcel really Wilfred’s pet after all?

This Moose Belongs to Me is a classic Oliver Jeffers story, with the wit, subtle humour and odd characters that I love in his books.  It’s quite a simple story filled with lots of quirky details, such as Wilfred’s rules of how to be a good pet, the string to help him find his way home, and even Wilfred himself, who wears a bow-tie and listens to records.  It’s the sort of story that children of all ages will love.  What kid wouldn’t want to have a moose for a pet, that would go anywhere you wanted to go and provide shelter from the rain?

Oliver’s illustrations are as remarkable as always, but he has tried a different technique with this book.  Instead of using a plain white or coloured background he has painted onto landscape paintings created by another artist (Alexander Dzigurski).  This has created a really interesting effect.  Even though the background and the characters were painted by different people, many years apart,  they go together perfectly.  You feel like you want to dive into the book and follow Wilfred and Marcel through the beautiful landscapes, especially the cover image. It’s almost difficult to tell the two different artists apart on some pages.  If you’re familiar with Oliver’s other books you might even be able to spot several characters from them in this book too.

This Moose Belongs to Me is great for children young and old.  Younger children will love the story and older children (and adults) will appreciate the remarkable illustrations.

5 out of 5 stars

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, Illustrators, Picture Book Nook, picture books

This Moose Belongs to Me book trailer

This Moose Belongs to Me is the stunning new picture book written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.  He is one extremely talented guy who always creates wonderful picture books, and this is no exception.  It’s available in NZ this month and you can read my review on Monday.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, book trailer, books, children, Illustrators, picture books

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket Book Trailer

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is the latest children’s book from John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.  I’m reading it at the moment and absolutely loving it!  John Boyne is coming to Christchurch at the end of August for the Christchurch Writer’s Festival and I’m very excited to be interviewing him on behalf of Christchurch City Libraries.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is out in NZ on August 17.

Leave a comment

Filed under book trailer, books, children, children's fiction, Intermediate Fiction (11+)

Picture Book Nook: The Hueys in The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is one of those illustrators whose work is instantly recognisable.  He has a really unique style that’s quite sparse but very effective.  I fell in love with Oliver’s illustrations when I first picked up The Book Eating Boy, which is one of my favourites along with The Great Paper Chase.  Oliver’s latest book is The Hueys in The New Jumper, the first in a new series which is sure to be a hit.

The thing about the Hueys was that they were all the same.  They looked the same, thought the same, and did the same things, until the day that Rupert knitted a new jumper.  At first, everyone thinks Rupert is silly and he stands out like a sore thumb.  Then some of the other Hueys start knitting their own jumpers, and they all start to look the same again.  How will Rupert stand out?

The Hueys in The New Jumper is a quirky picture book about how cool it is to be different.  Rupert shows children that it’s OK to be different (and you might even start a new trend at the same time).  The book itself is quite different from a lot of other picture books, because there is very little detail or colour in the illustrations.  I love that Oliver can make such simple characters show so much emotion (he shows happiness, shock, anger and embarrassment with a few quick strokes of his pencil).  The Hueys are characters that children and adults will love and I look forward to seeing what they get up to next.

Oliver has been in NZ recently for the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival and an event in Wellington.  I’m really looking forward to hearing Oliver talk at the Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference in Adelaide this week, and I’ll be queuing up with everyone else to get my books signed.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, Picture Book Nook, picture books