Friday 23 November 2018

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 23rd November 2018: "The Boy - His Stories And How He Came to Be" by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Our first Picture Book of the Week this week harks back to our very first forays into reviewing children's books...
Every week, without fail, we used to go to the Library. I was lucky enough to get a day at home with C back then - and it was always our favourite destination.

The rest, as they say, is history - but without a doubt books like Oliver Jeffers' sublime "Boy" series helped C to develop her love of books and stories, and they were always in our library pile.

We read "How to Catch a Star", "Lost and Found","The Way Back Home", and "Up and Down" many, many times - and Oliver Jeffers fast became one of our favourite author-illustrators.

Though his style has been adopted (most would say 'copied') many times by many different folk, his books are still the most amazing modern classics - so seeing them here with some glorious process sketches and story planning is a real treat indeed.

HarperCollins has gathered these stories together with the sketches in a beautiful hardback that's just in time to make your christmas shopping list.

The stories are blissfully simple, yet their messages are delicately conveyed - and Oliver's illustrations are colourful and meticulously planned considering how 'simple' they might look.

Reading through his process notes and the way stories changed, it's actually a genuine delight to be given an insight into a master creative's work in this way. We'll even forgive him for basically doing a 'best of' compilation rather than an entirely new story, but we're prepared to wait - this dude isn't done telling stories yet!

This really is a thing of beauty though - and whether you're in it just to collect those gorgeous books all in one place, or whether like us you really want to know what makes Oliver tick, this is a complete delight.

"The Boy, His Stories and How He Came to Be" by Oliver Jeffers is out now, published by HarperCollins Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).