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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Airplanes soaring through the sky
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...
Published on January 25, 2010

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing book by an author we've always loved...
We purchased this because we LOVE some of Oliver's other books (especially the one about the boy who loved starts), but this was a letdown. None of our kids liked it, and bored quickly with it. We sent it back, as it did not meet our expectations for this author.
Published 11 months ago by Ireland Mom


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Airplanes soaring through the sky, January 25, 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Great Paper Caper (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
4.0 out of 5 stars If a bear fells a tree in the woods, does it make a sound?, January 22, 2009
This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (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. And sure as shooting when the animals check it out they see that the bear has been turning a plethora of wood into paper airplanes in a vain attempt to live up to the paper airplane stardom of his ancestors. After a full confession and an outpouring of sincere regret the bear is sentenced to a replanting of the trees and his fellow animals find a way to help him come to terms with his paper airplane legacy.

Stories of industrious lumberjack bears do not initially sound particularly British. Close inspection of Jeffers's illustrations (and they all deserve close inspection, you know) show that the man is prone to particularly British moments. Note the judge's wig. Or the red telephone booth into which the other animals climb. These all are merely indicative of Jeffers's love of tiny details. Since he's not an intricate artist like Peter Sis there's a temptation to write off the art of Jeffers as straightforward and plain. Take a closer look at the book, however, and all kinds of tiny slights and thought out whiffs of detail catch the eye. Things like the bear's Mark Spitz-ish ancestor who was a paper airplane winner in 1972. Or, even more subtle, the final image where the bear merrily water a tree, a single bare light bulb glowing in his trailer, not thirty yards away.

Going back to the style of the artist, Jeffers has always had a weakness for critters and creatures that toddle about on two thin stick-like legs. He avoided it with the penguin in Lost and Found, which was only right since penguins are meant for waddling, not toddling. Generally it is a look that has suited his small animals and people quite well. So it was strange to look through this book a second time and see that the bear, of all creatures, also sports a pair of legs that resemble nothing so much as a pair of well-spaced dowel rods. And while that might be considered distracting to some you really don't notice it, apart from that image on the cover. An unexpected look, certainly, but one that fits within the rest of the book without any problems.

I do appreciate that the bear doesn't actually, y'know, WIN or anything at the end. Jeffers ends the book on a note of triumph that doesn't actually say, "and then the bear won the contest." In the end, all the other animals recycle the bear's discarded, defunct airplanes and turn them into a humungous airplane (love the fact that it's still lined paper) and he rides it in style to the finish line. Which is all well and good, but that fortunately isn't the same thing as saying that he actually won or anything. I mean, it's pretty clear from the get-go that the bear is a lamentable paper airplane pilot. His creations fail with a kind of unceasing certainty that is somewhat reassuring in this crazy madcap universe we live in. If he were to suddenly win of his own accord or, worse, thanks to his new friends' intervention, that would be despicable. As it stands, Jeffers takes the clever middle road and all is well and right with the world.

The book doesn't have quite the same emotional grip of Lost and Found, Jeffers's best book to date. However, there is much to be said for a picture book as thoroughly amusing and enjoyable as this. If you happen to be in need of a good winter mystery, particularly one that the small tots reading with you will be able to solve on their own, I can't think of a better title to hand you. Purely enjoyment from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Cute, December 24, 2010
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing book by an author we've always loved..., November 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
We purchased this because we LOVE some of Oliver's other books (especially the one about the boy who loved starts), but this was a letdown. None of our kids liked it, and bored quickly with it. We sent it back, as it did not meet our expectations for this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a perfect book for your budding amateur sleuth!, May 21, 2009
This review is from: Great Paper Caper (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very strange book, November 29, 2012
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
This book disappointed me. I could not find one character that I liked; the vignettes were disjointed and negative, dark; I found it difficult to recall the relationships among the characters. Still...I had to finish it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Those stick legs!, September 21, 2014
This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
You can read this review and more on my blog, Caught Read Handed.

This one might be favorite Oliver Jeffers book so far. The forest animals’ homes are disappearing. All the trees are being cut down! Oh no! What is happening? The animals meet up to try to figure out the mystery; there must be clues, right? Maybe like the bear with the ax in the background or the flyers for the paper airplane contest?

The humor in The Great Paper Caper is so genuinely funny and charming. This is definitely one of those ones that will delight not only children but adults as well – maybe even more so for adults who will understand the humor of the clues laid out in the background for the reader.

Also, I can’t even handle how ridiculously adorable the illustrations are. The stick legs! Oh my goodness. I just love them. The beaver and the bear and the pig. So freaking adorable. I think some people might easily blow off Jeffers’ illustrations as overly simple or plain, but this book is indicative of why Jeffers is just so talented: all of the little details in the background that you might not notice at first are perfect.

So this one doesn’t quite have the same emotional range as, say, Lost and Found, but it is the definition of an enjoyable book from start to finish. I definitely think kids would enjoy trying to figure out who the paper caper is as much as you will.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a cute book!, June 3, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
I love this book. The artwork is spectacular and the story is the cutest. My little one is still a little young to appreciate the book, but it doesn't stop me from reading it to him. I'm sure he'll grow to love it as much as I do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids, great for adults that are kids at heart, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
Oh what a bad bear, chopping down all those beautiful trees! A bad bear indeed! The book is beautifully illustrated and very playful. Enjoy for your kids, or great for your coffee table too to bring out the kid in you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Boook, December 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Great Paper Caper (Hardcover)
Mr. Jeffers' picture books are fantastic. A wonderful blend of beautiful pictures themed with terrific dialog that conveys multiple levels of meaning for readers of any age.
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The Great Paper Caper
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers (Hardcover - January 22, 2009)
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