Oliver Jeffers has been on the illustration scene for a while. Recently I decided to check out every single book he has written or illustrated that my public library had to offer. It got to be pretty ridiculous when one of the librarians said,
wow, you must really have a thing for Oliver Jeffers books
My only response to this was, well yes, I certainly do. With good reason Oliver Jeffers is awesome, he won an Emmy in 2010 for goodness sakes! Okay, not sold yes on his awesomeness? Here is a little video to give you more of an insight into who he is:
Alright now that I’ve swooned enough over Mr. Jeffers here are the reasons why my petites and I are such fans. What I’ve decided to do is pick just five (okay, six) of his books that are our absolute favorites. Which means, I have spent the last week reading his books to the petites, watching their reactions and of course interactions with the illustrations and text.
This book is brilliant in its simplicity. Our protagonist is flying a kite and then the unthinkable happens; the kite gets stuck in a tree and every possible thing gets thrown into the tree to free the kite – even the kitchen sink. This is a hilarious story. You will love it and relate if you’ve ever had something get stuck only to attempt to dislodge it.
This is another of Jeffers hilarious and silly books. Our protagonist is Henry a young boy who has an insatiable appetite for knowledge and learning. Henry simply loves books so much so that he devours them – literally. The more he eats the smarter her gets. This book is one of our favorites with a little surprise die cut just for you.
This Moose Belongs to Me (2012)
Our main character is Wilfred and he has a moose, Marcel and unfortunately for Marcel there are a lot of rules that he has to follow. This is a really silly story that makes you giggle the entire time. I love the illustrations and how unique they are, they keep you excited to turn the page and see what Jeffers has in store on the next.
The Heart and the Bottle (2010)
This book was not at all what I expected, I am going to brutally honest, I wept when I read this book. This book just struck a chord with me. The little girl in the story is as inquisitive as ever, she cannot learn or explore enough – she does all of this with her grandfather. One day she runs to his chair to show him her drawings and the chair is empty and the room is dark. From this moment she guards herself and her first step in doing so is to put her heart in a bottle where it will be safe. To say that I love this story, is an understatement. I know that this book is perfect for a petite who may have lost someone in their lives, the uncertain feelings that come from that time can be difficult to tackle. This book is a great way to start to have a conversation about loss. This story is perfect in every way.
The Day the Crayons Quit (2014)
This is a New York Times Bestseller and once you read it you will see why. This story is one of Jeffers books that inspires. We read it last night before bedtime and a bargain had to be quickly struck to ensure that my petite would have the book read to her again when she got home from school and be able to color with all of the crayons so they wouldn’t feel badly. It is a story about the crayons and their feelings, they are concerned because many of them are over worked and some of them are hardly used at all. The petite loved that the crayons wrote letters to Duncan about being used. It also was great to make sure she was comprehending what each crayon was saying in the letter. Love it! This story also provided us a platform to have a great conversation about friendship and feelings. I love that this book inspires creativity.
Lost and Found (2005)
This is a charming book about a little boy who gets an unexpected visitor at his door. What my petites loved is that the boy thought the penguin was lost, but he was really found when he met the boy. He finds a friend. This lovely book about friendship was made into a TV short, below you can check out the trailer.
It was difficult for me to narrow it down to five of my favorites, hence there are six. All of Oliver Jeffers books are wonderful – these just happen to be the six that I chose for today. In all honesty you cannot go wrong with any book that Mr. Jeffers has illustrated or written for that matter.