Posts Tagged ‘oliver jeffers’

When I found out there was a second Oliver Jeffers book being published this year, I did a little jump for joy. As if The Huey’s wasn’t enough, we now get to follow the adventures of Wilfred and Marcel the Moose.

One day Wilfred comes across a Moose and declares that the moose is his, and he is to be called Marcel. Wilfred has fun adventures planned for him and Marcel but sometimes Marcel has other ideas and doesn’t always follow the rules and goes off on his own. One day he comes across an old lady who shouts: ‘Rodrigo you’re back!’ This angers Wilfred who shouts back: ‘This Moose belongs to me!’ Wilfred heads off in embarassment and in his rush to run away, he trips and falls down the mountain getting trapped…who will save him?

This is such an aesthetically pleasing book. Of course, once again Jeffers is championing all  those who appear to be a bit bald, but it’s the variety in texture, colour and media on each page which makes it so wonderful. There are elements of digital design super-imposed on to Jeffers’ wonderful artwork and the textures from acrylic paintings really make this feel like you are reading the one and only original copy.

This book is a triumph and such fun to read. Really, could it ever be anything else? Like many of the characters in Jeffers’ books, we come to love Wilfred and his naivety. I do hope there will be a follow up adventure…

This Moose Belongs to me by Oliver Jeffers

HarperCollins Children’s Books

HB, £11.99


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Everytime I mentioned to someone that a new John Boyne book was being published, I was met with much excitement and anticipation. When I showed them the book, aptly illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, this excitement was met with further ooh’s and ah’s.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is a departure from the type of novel we have come to recognise Boyne for. Best known for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (which has now sold over 1 million copies), Boyne has created in this book a character to love, an adventure to behold and a lesson to learn.

Barnaby Brocket is born in to a very normal family who just wish to go about and live their boring, unassuming lives. Except, Barnaby disrupts that plan when he is born defying the laws of gravity; he simply floats away from the ground until something stop him in his path…usually the ceiling which results in an “Ouch” from Barnaby. His parents are aghast  that their offspring could be so strange and immediately seek to hide him from the public. Soon Barnaby is old enough to go to school and it’s really this moment that sets in motion the events which take Barnaby on an adventure across the world.

Eventually, after a school burning down and Barnaby appearing on national TV after a school trip Mr and Mrs Brocket have had enough of Barnaby and his floating ways and that’s when they do the terrible thing….they let him go. Mrs Brocket, (under the pretence that she and Barnaby are merely going for a walk) frees Barnaby of his weighted rucksack and sees him float away. Barnaby can do nothing but look at his mother with fear and disappointment as she slowly gets smaller and smaller. This time, there’s no ceiling to stop him floating away.

Soon we see Barnaby flying across the world and embarking on a journey of adventure and discovery. From a hot air balloon to the precarious edge of a New York skyscraper; Barnaby goes all over the place and meets a few interesting characters along the way too. It’s here that he really makes the journey of discovering who he is and realising that being normal isn’t actually all it’s cracked up to be and really, is anybody truly normal?

You’ll find it hard not to love Barnaby Brocket; a character so full of innocence. This book is a charming, humorous look on our understanding of the ideal norm and teaches us all a lesson in acceptance and never being anything but who you are. And of course, I can’t finish this review without mentioning the wonderful illustrations by Oliver Jeffers (who previously illustrated Boyne’s ‘Noah Barleywater Runs Away). Boyne and Jeffers are a match made in heaven and I can’t now picture anybody else up to the job of illustrating Boyne’s children’s books. There are illustrations throughout the book and we really get the feeling we too are on a worlwide adventure flying high in the clouds with nothing but anticipation and no gravity getting in our way.

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers


£10.99, Hardback, 2nd August 2012

Doubleday Children’s

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This year, the 70th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s wonderful Famous Five books is being celebrated with special illustrated editions of some of the favourite stories. Each book has been illustrated by favourite illustrators of our time, ready to be re-interpreted for a new generation. The thing about the Famous Five books is that they transcend time and I believe they will be in print for a very long time. Hodder still sells over 1/2 a million Blyton books every year and that makes me happy. Every child should have a Blyton book on their bookshelf.

It’s nice to be able to continue to celebrate one of our most cherished authors in these lovely editions and to explore different interpretations.

Helen Oxenbury has illustrated Five go Adventuring Again

Quentin Blake has illustrated Five on Treasure Island

Oliver Jeffers has illustrated Five go to Smuggler’s Top

Chris Riddell has illustrated Five go off in a Caravan

Emma Chichester Clark has illustrated Five Run Away Together

The Famous Five 70th Anniversary editions are priced £5.99, published 3rd May 2012 by Hodder

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A new picture book by Oliver Jeffers before the Autumn in always a treat and this new book by the creator of Lost and Found does not disappoint.

The Huey’s are funny little characters. Seemingly innocent little beings, they live their lives the same as one another doing the same and never doing anything different from one another. Until one day, a little Huey; Rupert decides to knit himself a lovely orange jumper…how do you think the other Huey’s react?

This is a charming story, told only in a way Oliver Jeffers can which explores the meaning of being yourself and individuality.

See the lovely trailer below

Build your own Huey here http://www.makeyourownhuey.com/

The Hueys in…The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers

9780007420650, Hardback, £10.99

April 2012

HarperCollins Children’s Books

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Finally! I can put words to the pictures. Ever since the Hay Festival back in May when Oliver gave us a sneak peek at his new book, anticipation has been building and I’m pleased to announce the book itself is not a let down.

Full of trademark Jeffers wit and childlike nostalgic writing and thought; this book is fun, carefree and a cautionary tale of what not to do when your kite gets stuck in a tree. Just think of it as organised chaos!

When Floyd gets his beloved kite stuck in a tree, he gets it stuck in his mind that the only way to get it down is to throw things as it. Funnily enough, these things all get stuck too. From firemen, to huge ships; this book will have you laughing throughout. The ending, naturally is hilarious.

This tale differs from Jeffers’ previous stories. Less heartbreak, more fun. But what remains is a beautiful book with beautiful drawings showcasing Jeffers’ inspirational talent and wit.


Oliver Jeffers,

£10.99, HB,



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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Oliver Jeffers. He is my favourite illustrator and his books are always a joy to read so meeting Oliver was a dream come true. I met him before one of his events at the Hay Festival where I was working and I made it my sole objective to make sure I was working on his event.

Oliver was just as charming and charismatic as you expect him to be. You know the pictures of a young Oliver in all his picture books? He’s just like that…only bigger now.

During the event, Oliver spoke to a full crowd about his work, what inspires him and just how he creates his picture books and other projects. He was honest and funny, and one swear word later had a very happy audience of children, adults and aspiring illustrators. And we got a sneak peek of his new book ‘Stuck’ which will be published September 2011.

Unlike previous work which has been a hybrid of mixed materials and digital work, ‘Stuck’ is entirely digital. Oliver said on his next book, he will probably return to a more natural, raw approach.

‘Stuck’ is all about a young boy Floyd who gets his kite stuck in a tree and embarks on a hilarious adventure to get it down. When throwing his shoe into the tree results in that getting stuck too, he has to think outside the box…will a kitchen sink get the kite and shoes down?

According to the press release, the book has a wonderful surprise ending.

A new Oliver Jeffers book is always a treat and I can’t wait to meet his new character Floyd, in a brand new, all digitally illustrated book.

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

HarperCollins Children’s Books




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I have always been quite evangelical of my love of book illustrations and for children’s book, I believe they are integral to the story and can complement a book so well and take it to the next level in a child’s reading experience.

Last week over at http://www.blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/ they featured an interview with the wonderful Oliver Jeffers and I have been inspired to look at his and other work more. And for that reason, Oliver Jeffers is the first to feature in my #Tuesday Choosings.

1. Oliver Jeffers is author and illustrator to ‘Lost and Found’, ‘The Great Paper Caper’, ‘How to Catch a Star’, ‘The Way Back Home’ and ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy’.

The first book I read of his was ‘Lost and Found’ and I subsequently watched the 30 minutes animation which was shown during Christmas 2008 and it really captured the essence of the story. The picture book has a haunting silence to it in which the characters speak through the illustrations. The friendship felt between the young boy and the lost penguin who arrives on his doorstep is immediate even if the boy does not realise this himself.

Each of Jeffers’ books have a sense of humour and it feels like he is letting us into his own personal scrapbook of ideas rather than a composed book. There’s an important element of whimsy which underlies the beautiful tales and often important messages. A talented writer and illustrator who evokes such emotion, I can’t wait for what comes next.

Visit his website at http://www.oliverjeffers.com

2. Quentin Blake- An obvious choice perhaps but worthy of being on this list. He brought such joy to my reading when I was younger and I have wallowed in rediscovering his work at an older age.

Quentin Blake is best known for his affiliation with author Roald Dahl, illustrating for books such as ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ The BFG’, ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ – (my favourite) and ‘Matilda’. Today, Dahl’s writing goes hand in hand with Blake’s illustrations and we just couldn’t have it any way. No other illustrator has had such an influence on children’s books and I love just how passionate Blake is about his work and subsequently, how much joy he brings to a child’s reading experience. Visit his site http://www.quentinblake.com

3. Judith Kerr brings so much happiness to so many people. Author of the ‘Mog the cat’ books and ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ her writing and illustrations are simple; traditional and most importantly, familiar.

I’ve fallen back in love with the Mog books recently. I think it has something to do with me getting nostalgic about my cats Rolo and Scrumpy. The premise of the Mog books is simple; a cat and her family. Mog is a forgetful cat, she can be scared, she can be lazy and she can be silly, but she’s loyal, often saves the day and brings the family together. No more “Bother that cat!” Judith Kerr is also wrote her biography ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ and this tale of her childhood is now considered a classic educational book alongside Anne Frank. Judith Kerr is a wonderful, wonderful woman who through her simple, childlike illustrations (and I mean that in the highest compliment possible) brings a sense of family to every childs life. After reading each Mog book, I want to be part of that family and that’s just a great thing. Or, at the very least I go and find my cats and give them a big cuddle.

4. You can probably all see right through me- another author/illustrator whose stories are based on families. Well yes, I relish the family dynamic but also recognise the importance of representation to a child.

Jill Murphy had to feature on here, she was my inspiration for this blog which is aptly named after one of her ‘Large’ family books ‘Five Minutes Peace’. As I grew up my picture books were stored away in the roof to make room for new ones, so for a large part  I forgot all about them. Then I started working as a bookseller; bad for my bank balance, great for my memories. I saw this book sitting on the bookshelf and there was the undenying feeling of nostalgia and happiness. I love that a book can just take us back. That is a sign of a good book, when it evokes feelings, when you get a response from it. Jil Murphy is quite diverse in her illustration style as she is also the author of the ‘Worst Witch’ series, another favourite of mine and one of the few ‘series’ which I stuck with. The sketchy black and white style of these illustrations work well with the hap-hazard character of Mildred.

5. Who knew the tales of a little girl and a blue kangaroo could be so successful? Emma Chichester-Clark has charmed the nation with her beautiful illustrative work.

Emma Chichester-Clark has also recently illustrated a new picture book edition of Alice in Wonderland. Her illustrations in all her books are rich and diverse with colour. Emma attended the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art where she was taught by Quentin Blake. Emma’s career has spanned many years and yet her style has unwavered because of its timeless ability to capture a child’s imagination. The simple character of Lilly is innocent and takes you back to a time where you sat in your room and had  favourite toy. Mine was a little hedgehog called harry. Lily’s is a kangaroo called Blue.


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