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Up and Down Hardcover – December 2, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Boy Series

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$13.44 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: Oliver Jeffers has created an enchanting story of two friends, a boy and a penguin, whom we first met in Lost & Found. In Up & Down, the penguin dreams of flying--he has wings, after all--but nothing seems to be working until he spots an advertisement looking for a living cannonball. The penguin’s excitement overtakes him and he sets off to fulfill his dream without telling the boy, only to realize later how much he misses his friend. Fortunately, the boy and the penguin are soon reunited, because it’s all well and good to fly through the air alone, but the best part is having a friend to catch you on the way back down. Wonderfully expressive illustrations complement this story of independence and friendship.--Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–Once upon a time, in a book called Lost and Found (Philomel, 2006), a penguin appeared at a small boy's doorstep. Since that adventure, in which the two traveled to the South Pole in a rowboat, the boy has crash-landed his plane on the moon and rocketed into space to catch a star. In this installment, the fearless, practical, and sympathetic child–drawn as a circle (head), square (striped shirt), and two lines (legs)–is back with his penguin friend. They play Telephone, Parcheesi, and tuba-guitar duets–until the penguin decides that he must learn to fly. “He did own wings after all, although they didn't seem to work very well. But that didn't stop the penguin trying.” Quirky watercolor illustrations enrich the plot with examples–e.g., increasingly large balloons tied around the bird's middle, or the penguin leaping from a desk chair mounted atop a dresser while the boy sets out a pillow for a landing pad. A chance sighting of a circus help-wanted poster takes the penguin off on his own and both friends must follow exciting, suspenseful, and wistful paths back to one another. Jeffers has an endearing, deceptively simple style that will warm the hearts of children and adults. An expert draughtsman and a gifted colorist, he creates artwork that is as masterful as it is eccentric. (Devoted readers will be delighted to find pictorial references to his earlier books.) His peculiar plots combine with a saccharine-free sensitivity to the nuances of friendship, making this book just plain special.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; First Edition edition (December 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399255451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399255458
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elizabeth Q. Howard on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book has beautiful illustrations. The colors are rich and the characters are drawn with much humor. I really enjoy showing my son the actions that are occuring on the page that are not explained by the text. For expample, on one page the little boy is trying to describe to a owl how his penguin friend can not fly. This is shown by arrows and thought bubbles.
My son is only 2 years old, but requests the Oliver Jeffers books often for bedtime. I however would consider purchasing this book for a child up to the age or 6 or 7. This story can be enjoyed by child and parent.
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While 'Lost and Found' has been a strong favourite of my son, this has not. It seems to be a sequel to the aforementioned book, but it doesn't really deliver.

The art is as good as the other Oliver Jeffers books, and there's a clear narrative that doesn't require you to explain pages, but the story itself doesn't really work that well, which is a pity.

If you have all the other books by this author, then this is a nice addition, but I wouldn't recommend it as a first purchase. Also, the lack of a board format version means that you have to keep the book away from your toddlers: my son loves turning the pages on his books, but he has trouble with these big pages, which crease easily; even though it's only been read a few times it's already had some mishaps.

This is another book that seems to have a story aimed at two to three year olds, but incorporating elements that are hard for them to understand. The human canonball thing is not necessarily something a two year old can relate to, and I think it may leave younger children confused. Meanwhile, older children may find that the rest of the book is too simple for them. I don't think I'll know for sure for a couple of years, but that's my gut feeling.

The above flaws apart, this is a lovely looking book, with a positive message about friendship, but it doesn't have the kind of hook for toddlers that I'd hope for, and is far behind hits - that use rhyming verse - like 'The Gruffalo' or 'Aliens Love Underpants' by other authors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent follow-up to Lost and Found, where the boy and his penguin friend are introduced. It's not necessary to have read the first book to appreciate this one, but having both would be awesome for a child's personal library. Kids (and adults) will experience all the complexities and emotions that go along with friendship while the illustrations add the perfect touch. The author's message comes through crystal clear, making its way into your heart to stay.
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My 2.5 year old son loves to be read to and many of the kids books nowadays are wonderful even for adults. Up and Down does a great job involving the parent and child with great visuals. It's about a boy and a penguin who are great friends and the penguin wants to fly because he has wings. In an effort to do so, he has the boy try to help him with various endeavors but none work. He then heads off to become a "Human" Cannonball but gets separated from his friend. The problem with being a cannonball is that he wasn't sure how he was going to land or where? The boy frantically searches for the penguin and sees a poster of him performing that night and runs to catch him-which he does (SPOILER ALERT!). They are happily reunited again.

I HIGHLY recommend you also purchase LOST AND FOUND which is the Prequel to this book about the same boy and penguin. They are sort of companion stories and brings much more depth when read together with Up and Down. Their human/penguin friendships is heart-warming and the type of friendship I would hope for with my children and others.
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Why isn't Oliver Jeffers as popular in the U.S. as, say, Mo Willems or that Pinkalicious author or any other major kiddie author? I don't get it -- his illustrations are beautiful, his stories are fun (and often funny), his books feature cool stuff that kids love, like rocket ships, things being shot out of cannons, penguins, etc., AND the stories aren't so long that your kid can use them to delay bedtime forever. My son loves Up and Down just as much as he loves its prequel Lost and Found, and he also was delighted that the same characters show up in these two books (and also in The Way Back Home, though only the boy has a starring role in that one -- the penguin just makes a cameo). I for one am thankful to Jeffers for creating books that are enjoyable for kids AND their parents.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book and the pictures are so cute. My grandkids love this book and they can read it themselves. You need to read the first book Lost and Found before you read this one. Well written book. My grandkids are 5 and 7 and just right for them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oliver Jeffers is our favorite children's author and doesn't disappoint in this read. A continuation of the "Once there was a boy" series, Up and Down focuses on friendship while keeping it light, silly, and engaging.
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Format: Hardcover
As an adult, I thought this book was adorable. It's well-illustrated, fun, and heart-warming. All kinds of lovely colors are used in the illustrations. The font, which is playful and great for kids, suits the book, too.

This is the first boy and penguin book by Jeffers that I've read. However, I found it could stand alone.

Yet, as an adult, I had three complaints:

- There's one sentence in the book that doesn't make grammatical sense. Where was the editor? I know this is a children's book, but still. We don't want kid readers to pick up any bad speech habits at such a young age.

- The text is black. However, there are several pages where the text is put on a dark background, which made it harder to distinguish the text from the rest of the image. I wish the font on these particular pages had been white. This would really made the text pop and been easier on the eyes of adults reading the book to little ones.

Again, where was the editor? There's one page with grey font on black. I found it extremely annoying.

- The author skimps on the use of transitions. Instead of saying, "Then,...," the author chose to just say whatever it was. It didn't really help the story to flow, and just made it more abrupt then it needed to be. This is actually a very gentle story with only a mild conflict.

Overall, except for these three flaws, "Up and Down" is delightful. It has a sweet message about friendship, is wonderful to look at, and is sure to please small children, especially those that like penguins.
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