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Great Paper Caper Paperback – April 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jefferss (The Incredible Book-Eating Boy) forest creatures have dots for eyes and sticks for legs; they live in tidy holes in the ground, equipped with home offices and washing machines. Responsible citizens, they notice that trees in their forest are missing big branches, and organize themselves to find the perpetrator—readers know from the outset its the bear, in need of paper for a paper airplane contest. The drama unfolds in neatly paced vignettes and comic book–style panels with the rounded corners of old television sets. Jeffers joins the speech balloons to his characters mouths with ruled pencil lines; his spidery writing is a sweetly incongruous vehicle for fast-moving patter (Ill be the detective and you can be the judge, the beaver tells the deer. Why do I have to be the judge? the deer protests, and waves a hoof toward the pig. Why not him? Im the prosecutor, thats why, says the pig). The conclusion nods toward forgiveness and restorative justice, but its the anti-crime tape that gets the laughs. Jeffers lobs a joke or two over the heads of young listeners, a gesture that will be welcomed by presiding adults. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—There's something amiss in the forest, as branches are mysteriously disappearing. At first, the animal friends accuse one another but when alibis pan out, they realize that they have a thief on their hands. Setting out to solve the mystery, they discover that the bear has been stealing branches and making them into not-very-good paper airplanes for a competition. After a short trial, he confesses and agrees to replant the trees he has destroyed, and the other critters help him reuse the wasted paper to create a prizewinning entry. Managed forestry is the theme of this book that features folk-art-style animals with funny little stick legs. The mixed-media illustrations nicely complement the spare yet eloquent text. Though this clever title may need hand-selling to readers, teachers will welcome it for lessons on the environment.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007182333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007182336
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oliver Jeffers is an artist, designer, illustrator and writer from Northern Ireland.

From figurative painting, collage and installation to illustration and award winning picture-books, Oliver Jeffers practice takes many forms.

His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in multiple cities, including the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Brooklyn Museum New York.

HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his picture books, now translated into over 30 languages, including The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and the New York Times Bestseller This Moose Belongs to Me and #1 New York Times Bestseller The Day The Crayons Quit.

Oliver won an Emmy in 2010 for his collaborative  work with artist and filmmaker Mac Premo. He has made art for Newsweek, The New York Times, United Airlines, TED, Nintendo, and has illustrated a a number of novels.

In 2007, Jeffers was the official illustrator for World Book Day.

Lost and Found became Oliver's first book to made into animation by London based Studio AKA, screening on Christmas Eve 2008 on Channel 4 in the UK and on Nickelodeon in the US and Australia.

In 2013, Jeffers illustrated the vinyl cover (a drawing of Nelson Mandela) for the U2 song "Ordinary Love". Jeffers also co-directed (with Mac Premo) the video for the U2 song "Ordinary Love".

Oliver was born in Port Hedland, Australia, grew up and was educated in Belfast Northern Ireland and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
THERE IS AN AIRPLANE CONTEST IN TOWN! Well, in the book at least. It seems that an undercover bear has a plan to win. Meanwhile groups of forest animals are suspicious, branches on trees are disappearing. This leads them to an investigation. No matter how hard they try, no clues can be found in the whole forest. In a little house, the bear is making blue prints of paper airplanes. I would like to tell you the rest but that would very much give it away. I don't think anyone would like to read this book anymore.
Oliver Jeffers, he is very creative. The Incredible book eating boy. Who would think of that? Oliver Jeffers, of course. His imagination grows right before our eyes! My opinion, why on earth would you pass up any of his books? It is a gift to have an imagination like his. His books seem to have that fun sort if theme to them.
These Drawings, they're AMAZING. What I like about them the most is the humor. Most people like to laugh, so why not read this book? I mean, a group of animals are trying to figure out a crime scene. They even set up a whole inspection! I suggest you read this book. Like I said, who wouldn't?--Sara D. (5th Grader)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Oliver Jeffers is an odd duck. This is a statement that should surprise no one. The man simply has a very distinctive way of looking at the world. Labeling his style doesn't seem to work either. For a while there he was sort of the average-boy-meets-small-friendly-creature author/illustrator thanks to Lost and Found and The Way Back Home. But then you have his other titles to contend with. His How to Catch a Stars. His The Incredible Book-Eating Boys. I often find that I can fill up these reviews simply by comparing a certain author/illustrator to similar artists working in similar fields. Unfortunately for me, if Jeffers has been unduly influenced by one artist or another, I'm sorry but I can't figure out who that might be. Oliver Jeffers is, as I have said before, an odd duck. And we wouldn't have him any other way. The Great Paper Caper is proof enough of that.

There is a mystery lurking in these woods. It started small enough. Local forest denizens hardly even noticed when the first branches of their trees started to disappear. When the trees themselves started to go, however, it was time to do some serious detective work. At long last something was found near a crime scene; a paper airplane. A paper airplane with the paw prints of the local bear all over it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HB on December 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Oliver Jeffers' work. I love the way he uses collage and illustration to achieve not only a narrative but also a feel. This is one of my favorite books of his, with mild eco undertones as well as problem solving and conflict resolution. All that being said I think the simplest explination is it is a fun cute story.
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By Peter Wake on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this isn't his favorite book, my son still loves this book and asks for it at least once a week.

'How to Catch a Star' and 'Lost and Found' are better, but if you have them already you will not regret getting this too.

I wish all these books were available in 'board' format, but alas they aren't. The large format with heavy paper stock pages means that you have to ensure your toddlers don't get their hands on them, or they will soon be ruined. I have the above two in board format, and they are much more convenient like that.

The main thing that makes this weaker than the titles mentioned above is that it uses additional text 'hidden' in the pages, so you don't have a straightforward repeatable narrative unless you skip that stuff. There are also pages with no text at all, that require explanation. While these features make the book more 'arty' they don't necessarily improve it as a book for small children. Toddlers seem to enjoy repetition and predictable experiences. My son knows books like 'The Gruffalo' and 'Lost and Found' off by heart, and will repeat them with me as I read, but he has never done that with this one.

There's also a lack of a distinct character to relate to: the bear doesn't really get to say anything until the end, and the other characters are vague ciphers at best. That's not to say that kids won't like the bear character or be interested in him, but they don't really get enough to satisfy their curiosity.
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Format: Paperback
Everyone was nestled beneath the ground in their forest homes keeping busy and minding their own business, but when they all got together they noticed that there were some odd things going on. Beaver noticed that some of the branches had been hacked from the trees and that didn't set right with him, nor the rest of the crowd. Soon they started to blame each other. The beaver, the goose, the pig, the little girl and the owl were soon at odds with one another. Something would have to be done to solve this mystery or there would be big trouble!

Someone was stealing the branches, but it wasn't anyone they knew. Poor owl went to land on a branch during the night and PLOP . . . he landed right on his head. They all branched out to work on this crime. "An investigation was launched to get to the bottom of things." Meanwhile, the branches kept disappearing, but something else was showing up. Paper airplanes. "Then an eyewitness report led them to some evidence that had blown in not far away." A moose had seen a paper airplane flying in the forest. What could this mean? Would the forest crowd be able to solve this perplexing mystery?

This is a fun, quirky little mystery that the budding detective between the ages of four and seven will certainly enjoy. This beginning whodunit would be a perfect circle time or homeschool read-aloud book and will generate a bit of excitement as the children try to guess who the culprit is and the mystery behind the vanishing branches. In the endpages there is a guide to making a paper airplane, but younger children will need some help with this activity. This is a perfect book for your budding amateur sleuth!
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