Book Reviews

Review: A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston

a-child-of-books

I was kindly sent a free copy of this hardback book from the publisher Walk books for a review.  A Child of Books is an interesting and different book which might appeal more to adults than kids.  Here is my review:

When a little girl sails her raft across a sea of words to meet a boy, she takes him on an adventure of imagination.

This hardback book is an interesting read and will capture the hearts of many adults but I don’t think many children will enjoy this without a lot of explanation. The story is a simple one about a young girl who calls herself ‘A Child of Books’ and meets a young boy at his house. She takes him away on a journey into caves, escaping monsters and into space, among other places. All these adventures are in a world of imagination, a world made real by reading books.

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The artwork in this book is very clever but doesn’t appeal to me personally. There are drawings of the young girls and boy along with printed images or photographs and actual text making up pictures. I’ve taken some pictures to show you. There are clever images such as a photo of a paper forms a sail for a raft, spines of books (where you can see the paper pages) form trees in a forest. With added line details to flesh these images out. The very clever pictures though are when a shape is formed just from pieces of text, such as a whole cave or a monster made up of lots of text printed on top of itself, a whole sea of words. This text in the pictures comes from famous classic tales such as Hansel and Gretel and Alice in Wonderland.

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As far as the story goes I think this appeals really to the grown ups and not to the kids. The main idea of the story is about how reading a book can unlock a world of imagination but this idea won’t make sense to children who just haven’t had that experience yet. Of course adults can sit down with kids to explain this but I don’t think it’s a book that a child will appreciate as much as the adult. I think it’s a nice book and a nice sort of ode to reading but it just didn’t have as much appeal to me as it seems to have with other reviewers.

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Rating: 3/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Book description:

From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers, creator of The Day the Crayons Quit and Lost and Found, and typographical artist Sam Winston comes an exceptional new picture book.

I am a Child of Books. I come from a world of stories, And upon my imagination, I float.

In this inspiring, lyrical tale about the rewards of reading and sharing stories, a little girl 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. Guided by his new friend, the boy unlocks his imagination and a lifetime of magic lies ahead of him. But who will be next? Elegant illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are accompanied by Sam Winston’s astonishing typographical landscapes, beautifully shaped from excerpts of children’s classics including Treasure Island, Little Women and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, creating a gorgeous gift book perfect for readers of all ages, and this year’s must-have Christmas gift

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