Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oliver Jeffers makes neat things

Out this past Tuesday is Oliver Jeffers' new picture book, The Heart and The Bottle, a poignant (I bet that's the word literally every review of this book will include. But it's the only one that fits!) story about a little girl filled with curiosities. Incorporating more of the mixed media style he uses in his paintings, coupled with many found images reminiscent of The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Jeffers crafts a deceptively simple story about love, loss and recovery. He stills plays with recurring images from his other books, including rubber duckies, whales and, of course, the penguin, but it's a beautiful new development of his aesthetic. I have loved all his books, and this new one is no exception. (And I'm especially glad there's now one about a girl.)
The only hazard of handing people this book is that if they are, at this very moment, in the process of losing someone close to them they can, will and did break down and cry at the counter of the bookshop. Turned out she was shopping for things to DISTRACT her, including two of Jeffers' other books when I made the suggestion. I've never felt like such an ass for handing someone a book. She did, however, tell me a really wonderful story about her uncle, who gave her a cat who was all the colors she could think of, and an old fashioned baking mixer for her to use to make bubbles in the bath.
The Heart and The Bottle is not the only awesome new thing out from Oliver Jeffers this week! (That was a terrible transition. Sorry. There was really no good way to do that.) Completely unrelated to his books, Jeffers has teamed up with his studio mates to make a few items now for sale at the following link:
I'm a big fan of the "this machine kills fascists" pencils and the "Places on Earth: a Self Congratulatory Guide to Personal Globalization" map.

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