The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
|The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Captivating, distinctive artwork of the highest quality and a decent story make this picture book definitely worth a look, worth a read and, if it's your thing, worth buying too.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2007|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
Oliver Jeffers has achieved pretty universal acclaim in the world of picture books: critical acclaim, rewards and popularity with readers. The Way Back Home returns to his character called simply Boy, known from his How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found. This time Boy finds an aeroplane in the cupboard and decides to give it a ride. After running out of petrol, he finds himself stuck on the moon with an alien who had just crash landed there too. They make friends and together they find a way to help each other get out of the scrape.
The story is OK: nothing special in itself, but a nice, simple tale with a bit of moral and a great sweep of "everything is possible" so typical of children's imagination. But of course the story comes to life and reaches a completely different level thanks to the wonderful artwork that has became Jeffers' trademark.
It's delicate, mesmerising and sophisticated, cartoony and simple, almost minimalist, but also utterly magical; subtle and rich. It works perfectly with the story, and lifts it from a simple tale to a dreamlike quality that will captivate not only children but many an adult too.
I particularly liked all the double-spreads with sky, sea, space and mountains: mostly large spaces filled with colour and the contrastingly small characters doing whatever they were doing according to a logic of a children's fantasy or a dream.
I am generally a word-oriented reader, and thus I would give this book 4 stars, those who buy their picture books more for pictures, it would be probably a 4.5 if not 5 star example. Definitely worth a look, worth a read and, if it's your thing, worth buying too, for all pre-schoolers aged 2.5 to about 4.
Thanks to HarperCollins for sending this to the BookBag.
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