The Perfect Book for Bibliophiles
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
"I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories."
Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston start off A Child of Books (published September 2016) with the truest words I have ever read. Using mixed media of photographed books, typography and illustration (water color, pencil, and digital collage), Jeffers and Winston created a homage to the some of the classic books that came before them. They use texts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Treasure Island, the Grimm fairy tales, The Secret Garden, Gulliver's Travels and more to create images that the children in the book both lose themselves and find themselves within.
I love the sense of adventure within their words. And as a child of books myself, I can't help but admire the the way the characters encourage us as the reader to continue to read and use our imaginations. Plus, there's a special bond that's formed when discussing books (and I mean discussing NOT over-analyzing like in my old college classrooms....) and that bond is definitely forged between the boy and the girl in the story as they descend rabbit holes, sail through caverns, float on clouds and play hide-and-seek among cloth bound books.
Confession: During the hardest time of my life, I immersed myself in reading. And as I've gotten older, I now read a wider variety of books than I did when I was a teen. Why? Because as a teen I thought I needed to conquer all the classics. Though I also read the funnies every day, including Calvin and Hobbes because it was still a comic strip at the time. So my confession is that during my pregnancy with Macy (my daughter with Trisomy 18 who passed away within hours of being born), I read and re-read the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer over and over again on repeat. Why? Because the story was compelling enough to hold my attention and distract me from stressing over the what-ifs. Twilight still holds a special place in my heart for that reason. After Macy died, we went to one of our favorite places, Mission Bay. I was still recovering from my c-section, but we got a room that opened out onto the bay and I sat on one of the patio loungers as I watched Mr. Bookworm play with an almost three year old Mini Me Bookworm in the sand. And though the sounds of her laughter and her imagination as she built sand castles and walked the mudflats likely distracted me from Breaking Dawn (the last in the Twilight series), I still say that I got lost in the pages of those books right when I needed to. If only because I didn't understand (and still don't understand) how Meyer could end the series as she did.
In any case, similar to the little girl and boy in A Child of Books, books have always held special meaning to me and I consider them old friends.
Rating: Lowest bookshelf--you're going to want to study each of these illustrations to try to read the words.
Ages: You can read this to little ones but they may not be able to fully appreciate the text illustrations. Maybe four and up? (Or a two or three year old bibliophile who won't rip the lovely pages.)