It’s day 12 of the Book Monsters Advent, and I’ve covered a whole range of children’s books, fiction and nonfiction. This one, if I’m honest, is maybe more for the adults. I’ve held onto it for quite some time, waiting for the right moment to blog about it. This A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston and published by Walker Books.
This book follows a girl as she sets sail across a sea of words to a young boy who she takes away on her travels with her. The concept being that if you read books, you can go on journeys, travel and adventure as far as your imagination can take you, ending in the wonderful line “For imagination is free”
This book is a real quirky concept book, using typography of text taken from various classic children’s books that you’ll surely recognise and that act as the oceans, mountains, caves and paths on the children’s journey through their imagination, it’s so so clever and interesting an idea, and just makes me love the fact that I’m a reader. Love the fact that I love books, and love the fact that I’m a child of books. The page which gives a little glimpse into the mind of some adults, dry and factual with no imagination, having forgotten what it’s like to adventure in that world is thought provoking and profound.
The book is sparse in illustration and colour, letting the words and type act as the pictorial elements of the story, and it works so well, adding to the unusual feel. And when the page suddenly bursts into a huge colourful world of stories, it has all the more impact due to the previous simple and generally colourless pages. It’s really gobsmacking and beautiful work!
I’m not sure young children would get an awful lot from this book as a story if I’m completely honest. But it could be used brilliantly in schools and colleges as an introduction to design, typography, creative writing and even art. So there is huge value in this book. But I think really, A Child of Books is a treasure and a gift designed especially for those bookworm adults out there brought up on books.