"I am a child of books.
I come from a land of stories,
and upon my imagination,
So begins the latest, and perhaps most enchanting picture book ever written by author/illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. A Child of Books is the result of a new collaboration for Jeffers (his most popular to date having been with author, Drew Daywalt, in The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home) with fine artist, Sam Winston. While Jeffers is famous for creating oftentimes hilarious stories with his signature child-like illustrations and handwritten text, this latest work surprised me. It is an ode to a love of reading, to the power of imagination, and it is art.
The story begins with a young girl, floating upon a raft above a sea of words. Soon, she comes ashore and meets a little boy, and together, they embark on the greatest of adventures. They climb mountains of make believe, play hide and seek in a forest of words, and escape an attack by a giant, marauding monster. Text from famous works such as J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is incorporated into every page, taking shape to form landscapes to explore, and delivering a much larger message to us all. Stories can bring you to far off places, it's true, but with a bit of imagination, far off places can even come to life.