Saturday, April 18, 2009

oh mr. jeffers, you're so dreamy.

My favorite picture book artist, Oliver Jeffers, (I own all his books... and have no kids) put out a new book in January, called The Great Paper Caper. It's the story of a tree shortage in a forest that is ultimately accredited to a well-meaning but competitive grizzly-lookin' bear who just wanted to win the annual paper airplane contest. Perfectly illustrated, as always (Jeffers is also a working artist, whose paintings toy with the relationship between text and image-- swoon) the story utilizes a lot of great detective/police procedural vocabulary, not to mention to obvious conservation themes. And like The Incredible Book Eating Boy (also by Jeffers, winner of the Irish Children's Book Award) there are lots of clever little details in the backgrounds of the illustrations, though Incredible Book Eating Boy does not have anything quite like a pig making bacon as his alibi. Better for kids who are willing to have vocab words explained to them, this story did not do particularly well at my toddler-laden storytime. But nonetheless, I recommend it all the time, for ages 4 and 5 and up.

An Illustration from The Great Paper Caper

The Witness, a painting by Oliver Jeffers

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