Children’s books are generally silly and consist of the basic story structure: introduction, problem, and solution. Oliver Jeffers’ books take that to a whole new level. If you have children that tend to be deep thinkers, you will want to read on to see why this author and illustrator needs to be in your child’s library.
Oliver Jeffers was born in Australia, raised in Northern Ireland, and now resides in New York. He is an award-winning artist, author, and illustrator of over 20 children’s books.
A majority of Oliver Jeffers’ books are meant for preschool through early elementary children (ages 3-6). However, older toddlers may also appreciate the way basic concepts are presented in the “Here We Are” series.
Jeffers’ text is very matter of fact and lends itself to creative questioning and thought processes by children. This is one of the reasons I love his books. When reading these books, there is always something to think about. Instead of typical “What would you do?” or “What do you think happens next?” questions, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and viewing situations in a less rigid way definitely grow the brain.
The illustrations are unique in that they have a bit of a child’s imagination appearance. While some pages are wonderfully painted, some backgrounds are borrowed with child-like drawings of characters inserted within. I think this is part of what makes them appealing to children. Oliver Jeffers has even lent his illustrating skills to books such as award-winning “The Day the Crayons Quit” and other “Crayon” books by Drew Daywalt.
Our favorites are the books about The Boy and his adventures – whether he is trying to problem solve, lend a helping hand, or befriend a penguin, it is fun to follow and learn along with him. “Lost and Found” is also available on DVD. The narration is perfect and the animation really makes this book by Oliver Jeffers come to life. It would be wonderful if more of his books could be recreated in this format! Note: Another book, “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” was released on AppleTV in 2020.
Jeffers’ other titles are also great reads. These include The Heart and the Bottle, There’s a Ghost in this House, and Stuck. Although some of these stories can be pretty deep, it can be surprising how children interpret them. Even the concept of zero in “The Hueys in None the Number” is presented in a way that really makes a reader (or listener) think about how the number works. This is unlike many other counting books out there.
Where to Find his Books
The local library is always a great option for testing out new books or authors. However, if you’re like me and you want to keep favorites on your permanent shelf, you can find them below.
Find titles such as:
- Lost and Found
- The Moose Belongs to Me
- Here We Are
For more on Oliver Jeffers and his other works, visit his website at OliverJeffers.com