Saturday, October 29, 2016

No Frigate Like A Book: A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers

I am a child of books.

I came from a world of stories.

And upon my imagination

I float.

And sailing on a sea of print our girl sets out, her raft coursing over snatches of stories from the classics--seafaring fare such as The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle, Swiss Family Robinson, and Gulliver' Travels.

But she's not steering toward Treasure Island; she is picking up a passenger who needs to feel the fresh breezes of imagination upon his face. The boy is a printed-word denier, but his resistance fades in the face of a flying Peter Pan and Wendy, a drop down the rabbit hole with Alice, and a rum-soaked YO, HO, HO with pirates. He clambers down from crenelated castle walls and dodges dangers with Hansel and Gretel and Red Riding Hood through the darkling forest.

We will travel over mountains of make-believe.

Channeling Emily Dickinson's "There is no frigate like a book," Jeffers' lyrical narration provides a passage to those wild and wonderful worlds between the covers in his latest, A Child of Books (Candlewick Press, 2016).

The award-winning, best-selling author (for Stuck, and The Day the Crayons Quit, is well paired with artist Sam Winston, who combines gorgeous realistic colored images with line drawings such as the one in which the two travelers escape from Dracula's castle down a rappelling line made up of vertical words from the tale of Rapuzel. There are lots of similar sight jokes in the illustrations created from print from tales like Frankenstein and Ichabod Crane's Sleepy Hollow, collaged cutouts of actual books which form the background, all set creatively amid Jeffer's hand-lettered text, all of which will give readers some fun in ferreting out their favorites. "… a fresh and fascinating collaboration between two gifted masters," says the New York Time Book Review.



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