- Age Range: 4 and up
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (September 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763690775
- ISBN-13: 978-0763690779
- Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 10.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Child of Books Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up—A gorgeous, innovative musing on the power of storytelling. A nameless young girl who calls herself a child of books narrates in lyrical, spellbinding verse. Some, she says, have forgotten the importance of stories, but she finds a boy and introduces him to her world, a land created through a marriage of Jeffers's evocative art and Winston's masterly use of typography. In one scene, the children climb "mountains of make-believe" whose peaks and valleys are constructed from text from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan; in another, the pair play hide-and-seek in a forest of trees whose branches are made up of text from various fairy tales. As the two travel farther into the land of imagination, the art slowly takes on a vibrant, joyful tone. Spots of color are added here and there until, finally, loose, sketchy black-and-white line drawings of the children against spare backgrounds are replaced with rich, full-color spreads. Even the choice of which books to excerpt is inspired, and those who take a closer look at the pictures will be rewarded (words and sentences from tales of terror such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow comprise a furry, horned monster who menaces a castle; the children escape by climbing down the castle on a rope made up of prose from "Rapunzel"). A full listing of the excerpted works is included on the endpapers; the majority of works are British classics from the Western canon. VERDICT Use this wholly original celebration of the story as a jumping-off point for conversations about art and writing. A masterpiece.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
… a fresh and fascinating collaboration between two gifted masters.
—The New York Times Book Review
Jeffers and Winston’s first collaboration is a celebration of the child’s world, illustrated in sumptuous double-page spreads featuring explosions of images borrowed from unforgettable sources...Every one of its elements—the haunting prose poem executed in hand- lettered words; the pictures done in watercolor, pencil, and digital collage; and the objects built from words borrowed from classic stories—all work together toward a richly harmonious whole. An irresistible invitation to read.
—Booklist (starred review)
Jeffers and Winston's mixed-media artwork, an inventive combination of watercolor, pencil, and digital collage, elicits strong notice from readers. Jeffers' uneven, hand-lettered text contrasts dramatically with Winston's digitally manipulated lines of classic prose...An ingenious, confident, and pretty cool exploration of literary delight.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A gorgeous, innovative musing on the power of storytelling. A nameless young girl who calls herself a child of books narrates in lyrical, spellbinding verse. Some, she says, have forgotten the importance of stories, but she finds a boy and introduces him to her world, a land created through a marriage of Jeffers’s evocative art and Winston’s masterly use of typography...Use this wholly original celebration of the story as a jumping-off point for conversations about art and writing. A masterpiece.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Jeffers and typographic artist Winton collaborate on a hymn to the power of imagination, in which witty pen-and-ink drawings meet manipulated blocks of type, composed of passages from children’s classics...the energy of the images bursts from the pages, "for imagination is free."
This delightful treasure hunt through children's literature will have you digging through your bookshelves, hunting for forgotten phrases and making room among the tomes for this book.
This haunting mixed-media art book will appeal to literature lovers of all ages.
—New York Post
Each illustration cleverly incorporates text from classic works of literature into the art...This is fantastically imaginative and smart book that is sure to engage children of all ages.
—Cool Mom Picks (blog)
It's a lyrical picture book that celebrates the power of imagination...What a great way to stretch the imagination and teach reading all at once!
Literature lovers won't want to miss A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston.
As masterful as a book can be in extolling the richness that reading brings to our lives, "A Child of Books" is a glorious offering.
—Reading Eagle (from Kendal Rautzhan)
Top customer reviews
My description above doesn’t capture the beauty and wonder of this picture book. Jeffers’ poetry looks deeply into our relationship with fiction. Into the joy of discovering new adventures of heading down rabbit holes that other readers’ feet have merrily disappeared down before yours. He celebrates the shared language of story, the shared settings of tales, and the shared experiences that we have all had, separately but also together.
The illustrations are unique and very special. The merger of the painted characters with amazing typeface art is dynamic and original. It slows you down, naturally asking you to read the words that the mountains, clouds, and forest are made from. If you do, you discover old friends hiding there, beautiful words from classic children’s books. They invite you to read more, to rediscover those books of your childhood or introduce your favorites to your children. By the end of the book, I was slowly reading each word in the illustrations, lingering and sighing contentedly. My day slowed and enriched by memories.
Beautiful and luminous, this picture book is rich and unique. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
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