A Child of Books pays homage to literature, reminding us that we are the stories we read

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.


Copyright © 2016 Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

From A CHILD OF BOOKS by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd, London SE11 5HJ



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