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Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Child of Books, by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016.$22.00 all ages

"Some people have
forgotten where I live

But along these words
I can show you the way.

We will travel over
mountains of make-believe

Discover treasure in the
darkness ... "

If you have not yet returned to some of the classic stories that your family read together, or that you read on your own after you scanned lists of books worthy of your time and attention, this might just be the ticket you need to inspire you to take that step back and reread some of them.

Two artists have merged their equally impressive talents to produce a book that pays homage to the power of story to impact and change lives. Sam Winston's fine art is displayed in museums and galleries around the globe. Oliver Jeffers has written and illustrated a number of much-loved books for children. Their collaboration is unique, detailed and full of color and action. Mr. Winston has designed wordy ingenious landscapes, while Mr. Jeffers has hand-lettered the text and added the characters and other fine details. The excerpts taken from many classic books, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales are cleverly placed to have a real impact. Together, they provide a journey sure to captivate all readers.

The child of books is keen to lead her traveling companion on a voyage of discovery across the seas, through forests, and over mountains as they navigate the adventures that books provide. Their joy manifests itself in colorful and vibrant images and words. I love the final transformation from a row of varied colorless homes into a bright gathering of real books.

There is much for the audience to read as lines from a number of works make up the landscapes - clever and inspiring. The titles of all books excerpted are listed on the endpapers in endless repetition. I have a smile on my face every time I read it. What a celebration!

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