Olliver Jeffers, Sam Winston, A Child of Books
Published 2016 by Walker Books UK, 40p
A Child of Books is a wonderful invitation to explore literature and discover or rediscover the classic books of childhood. Olliver Jeffers and Sam Winston create a magic world of words, sending an invitation to unlock imagination and nurture it through books.
The two gifted artists often declared that they were shaped by the books they have been read as children and wanted to pay homage to those books and also to explain how a good text leads to another, generating a fluidity of language and setting the base for the formation of future individuals.
They imagined a little girl in braids and wearing a sailing dress who knows the magic of literature as she has sailed across a sea of words and a timid boy who needs to be shown the way. Holding hands they will travel over mountains of make-believe, in forests of fairy-tales, will find treasures and will sleep in clouds of song. A monster based on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are will haunt their castle but the children will use a rope of words to escape.
The typography used by Sam Winston is one of the attractions of the book – the mountains, the waves of the sea, the branches of the trees in the forest of fairy tales are created using words taken from classic books and lullabies.
There is no doubt that stories are part of our identity, they shape us, sometimes even changing destinies. Here it is an inspirational list with some of the books Jeffers and Winston used for their world of words:
Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Anna Sewel, Black Beauty
Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Hugh Lofting, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Johann David Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Jules Verne, Around the Moon
Sir Thomas Malory and Sir James Knowles, The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights
Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Complement A Child of Books with 13 Words by Lemony Snicket and Maira Kalman, a book that celebrates words and then see Kirsten Hall’s The Jacket, a story that pays tribute to all the books in the world.