cover image A Child of Books

A Child of Books

Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9077-9

Jeffers (The Day the Crayons Quit) and typographic artist Winton collaborate on a hymn to the power of imagination, in which witty pen-and-ink drawings meet manipulated blocks of type, composed of passages from children’s classics. “I am a child of books,” a straight-haired girl says; she’s sitting on a raft, dangling her feet in a river of Winston’s tiny letters. “I come from a world of stories/ and upon my imagination/ I float.” A page turn reveals the raft sailing across an ocean of Winston’s word waves. Boldface titles buried within the words reveal their sources—The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, Treasure Island, and others. Together with a boy in striped shorts, the girl journeys to a cave, forest, and outer space, each scene enhanced with Winston’s altered text, as when the passages from Frankenstein create the dense fur of a monster marauding a castle. Though more an artist’s creation than a children’s story, the energy of the images bursts from the pages, “for imagination is free.” All ages. [em]Agent: Paul Moreton, Bell Lomax Moreton Agency. (Sept.) [/em]

This review has been amended to more accurately reflect the collaboration between Jeffers and Winston.