Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Child of Books

A Child of Books
by Oliver Jeffers
illustrated by Sam Winston
Candlewick Press, September 2016
review copy (thankyouthankyouthankyou!) provided by the publisher

This is a book you'll want to savor.

Start with the dust jacket. Look at both the front and the back. Feel the texture of the foil stamped parts -- the keyhole and the names of the author and illustrator on the spine of the book in the illustration. Think about the key you see on the back. Study the shadow of the book. Notice the words that make up the shadow. Begin to make predictions about what you'll find when you open the cover.

Open the book. Gasp when you see the way the endpapers are decorated. Check the endpapers in the back -- same thing back there. You're distracted, but take the jacket off and go back to the cover of the book. Feel the cloth binding. Notice the blind stamps on the front cover and the back cover. Nice touch, eh?

Before you go back to the endpapers, read the flaps on the dust jacket and learn the term "typographical landscapes."

Now, the endpapers. Oh, my. Look long enough until you notice that there's something else there besides titles and authors. I won't tell you what. You find it. Think about it as you read the story, then go back to the endpapers in amazement when you have come to the end of the story. Go back and forth between the story and the endpapers. Wow.

Don't ignore the dedication page.

Read the book about twelve times. First, just look at the illustrations. Then, just read the main text. Do that thing I mentioned with the endpapers, and the savoring I started out with.

As soon as possible after your twelve times, read this book to and with children of all ages. Then get started reading all the books in the endpapers, one at a time, for the rest of your long, rich, imagination-filled life.

Bibliography for this review:

How to Read a Picture Book
Terms for parts of a book


  1. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. You've outdone yourself with this review. Requesting it now! It's on order - 18 holds on 18 copies, I'm #19 in line. May have to buy it.

  2. With a review like that, how could I not buy?! Cha-ching. :-)

  3. Wow!
    I love the mystery you start to unwrap here, Mary Lee.
    Hope to find answer it for myself, by & by.
    Very intrigued!


We welcome your contribution to the conversation!