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A Child of Books - Oliver Jeffers

Hardcover Published: 1st September 2016
ISBN: 9781406358315
Number Of Pages: 40
For Ages: 3+ years old

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A beautiful, poignant and timely manifesto for the myriad rewards of reading and sharing the enjoyment of stories.

From Oliver Jeffers and typographical fine artist, Sam Winston, comes an inspiring and lyrical picture book about a little girl who sails her raft 'across a sea of words' to arrive at the house of a small boy. There she invites him to come away with her on an adventure where they can journey through 'forests of fairy tales', 'across mountains of make-believe' and 'sleep in clouds of song'.

Guided by his new friend, the boy unlocks his imagination and a lifetime of magic lies ahead of him... But who will be next?

Oliver's elegant art is combined with Sam's astonishing typographical landscapes - beautifully shaped from excerpts of children's classics and lullabies -to create a celebration of all that books can do and all that books can become, and to encourage readers of all ages to have an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that they will want to pass on to others.

A first for Oliver Jeffers: his first picture book published with Walker, and the very first book in which he has collaborated with another artist. Features typographic art from much-loved classics including Treasure Island, Frankenstein, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Little Women, The Wind in the Willows, Black Beauty and Great Expectations.

About the Illustrator

Sam Winston is a fine artist who exhibits internationally and whose books can be found in many special collections worldwide, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Tate Gallery London, and the V&A Museum. His work is also collected by the Library of Congress and commissioned by the New York Times. Sam lives and works in London.

Review by Emily Meredith

This is the greatest gift you can give any book lover, of any age. The child of books encourages a little boy to follow her - to sail on a sea of words, to climb mountains and sleep on clouds. The illustrations are absolutely incredible - Sam Winston has created amazing landscapes using words from children's classics to host Oliver Jeffers' characters.

With a truly wondrous interior encased in this gorgeous cloth-bound book, A Child of Books makes a wonderful gift, whether for a special child in your life, or just for you!

Industry Reviews

A gorgeous homage to the power of the written word. -- Imogen Russell Williams * The Guardian *
The message - and indeed the last line - is, of course, that imagination is free; that there's a little crack you can look through and see a whole universe. [...] Like all the best children's books, it can be enjoyed superficially or you can get into the nitty gritty of the texts - the reader can go as deep as he likes. * The Daily Telegraph *
It's a hymn of books, reading and stories, a unique reading experience and an inspirational gift for book lovers young and old. * The Bookseller *
A groundbreaking, inspiring and hauntingly beautiful story from picture book giant Oliver Jeffers and typographic fine artist Sam Winston. This magical and unforgettable book is a completely unique reading experience, blending illustration and the printed and written word like never before. A child of Books will encourage readers of all ages to question, to explore and to imagine - an infinite reminder of what books are, and all that they can do. * Ni4Kids *
"[...] it's a totally innovative and absolutely unique exploration of the power of story and storytelling. [...] Everything about this wonderful volume is so carefully considered by this inspired pairing; for instance there's the stark contrast between Jeffers' hand-written, lyrical narrative and Winston's digitally manipulated lines from the classics. Talking of classics, this ground-breaking book is surely destined to become a modern classic. [...] I could go on waxing lyrical about this intertextual wonder but let me merely urge you to get hold of a copy of your own (and some to give). Free your mind, be enchanted and also see how many of the 42 classics you can discover for yourself between its awesome pages. It's truly a work of art and a celebration of the imagination." * Red Reading Hub *
"Oliver Jeffers' new book is a first time collaboration with Sam Winston and it is something that everyone should have in their homes, old and young. A call to arms for the imagination, the power of stories and a reminder the magic is out there for all of us. A beautiful masterpiece." * angels & urchins *
[...] easily a contender for the most beautiful children's book of the year. The stunning typographical landscapes - comprised of the text of children's classic novels - make this every book-lover's dream book. A truly magical work of art. * Huffington Post UK *
This stunning visual poem, about the way the fantasy worlds of children's books create the fabric of the grown-up mind, is also, as Jeffers is keen to remind me, "a story about a boy and a girl who go on an adventure". Like all of his works, A Child of Books is for everyone and not just kids. * The Irish Times *
A lavish and uplifting celebration of the wonders of a limitless imagination and the power of the written word. An unforgettably inspiring read for all ages. * Little London *
"[...] it's certainly a cleverly conceived, ingeniously illustrated and beautifully designed and produced picture book. * Books for Keeps *
An absolutely stunning book about words, stories and the power of imagination. This is the first time the pair have collaborated and they have created something magical. Give it to everyone this Christmas! * angels & urchins *
A wonderful celebration of storytelling, providing endless opportunities for sharing discovery and memories. * Carousel *
[...] one of those deceptively simple books about books that can become fey unless it is as magical and passionate as this is. * New Statesman *
[...] an ode to books, lovingly illustrated and beautifully designed. * Irish Independent *
"[...] stunning [...] a complex intertextual work of art - featuring the text of classics woven into the illustrations = that succeeds both as a picture book and as something to be pored over by older readers." * The Irish Times *
"[...] joyous celebration of classic novels and lullabies." * Big Issue London *
"a fantastical journey of the imagination" * Irish Times, Children's Books of the Year recommended by Michelle Cusolito *
"The visual narrative is carries by Jeffers' highly expressive figurative images and hand written text telling us the main story which is amplified and complimented by Winston's beautiful typographic landscapes." * The School Librarian *
"A beautiful, poignant and timely manifesto for the myriad rewards of reading and sharing the enjoyment of stories. [...]Elegant illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are accompanied by Sam Winston's astonishing typographical landscapes, beautifully shaped from excerpts of children's classics [...]" * Toppsta *
"It's really quite imaginative, and I'll admit it inspires me!" * Diaryofafirstchild.com *
"Their approach here will surely fascinate children still getting acquainted with the written word: it suggests playful and irreverent approaches to texts and text itself." * Roundtable *

Beautiful Story


Oliver Jeffers is a favourite and this book doesn't disappoint. A whimsical story. Beautiful illustrations.



Beautiful imaginative story


This is one of our new favourites from Oliver Jeffers, it stirs the soul in the reading & wonder of children.

Surf Coast AUS


Beautiful book for book loving families


Beautiful book for children (and enjoyable for adults too). Would make a lovely gift for any age child.



Gorgeous reminder of the power of books


This new book from one of our favourite children's authors is a pure delight. It heralds that time as a child and even an adult when you get lost in a story, in the realm of books and time stands still. The pictures are very clever in this book using actual text from the pages of classic children's books like Alice in Wonderland as well as mixed media and illustrations. Another gorgeous and must have modern classic from Oliver Jeffers and new collaborator Sam Winston who is the author.



A Child of Books

4.8 4


ISBN: 9781406358315
ISBN-10: 1406376000
Audience: Children
For Ages: 3+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 40
Published: 1st September 2016
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 27.0 x 26.1  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.52

Oliver Jeffers

About the Author

Born in Western Australia, raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland and now currently residing in Brooklyn, New York.

Oliver Jeffers makes art.

From figurative painting and installation to illustration and picture-book making, his work has been exhibited in New York, Dublin, London, Sydney, Washington DC, Belfast and elsewhere.

A co-founder of the art collective OAR, their exhibitions include 9 days in Belfast, book and the award winning BUILDING. Illustration clients include Orange UK, Lavazza, Sony PSP, RCA Records, Starbucks, Candy, the Vacuum and Her Royal Majesty the Queen of England. HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his picture books, including the award-winning Lost and Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy.

There has always been a strong undercurrent of narrative behind Jeffers's work, but his current interest in making art lies in the anomaly between logical and emotional thinking.

While striving to find a harmonious balance between form and content, Jeffers is curious about the opposing means by which the world he lives in can be assessed. To explore this he has been drawing parallels between the arts and sciences, as in his recent solo show, Additional Information (exhibited December 2006, in Hill St Belfast), in which figurative oil paintings were over laid with mathematical equations.

Visit Oliver Jeffers's Booktopia Author Page