Saturday, 26 June 2010

Illustration mini-series (Pt.5) :: Oliver Jeffers

There are two reasons Oliver Jeffers is the final illustrator in my little series this week. Number one, because someone has to be, and number two, because every time I’ve tried to write this post, it’s started with the phrase ‘if I were a boy’ and rapidly descended into earworm overload. So, let’s just get it out of the way.

If I were a boy, I would quite like to be Oliver Jeffers.

(And if you are now similarly stricken with Beyonce earworm, I can only apologise.)

Of all the artists and writers featured here this week, his work is probably the most varied. I’m going to stick with his illustrations – that’s what I’ve been yakking on about since Monday, after all – but it’s more than worth your while visiting his paintings and objects at www.oliverjeffers.com, too. For me, they only serve to emphasise the imagination and storytelling skills that make his picture books so wonderful.

How To Catch A Star was one of the first books I ever bought for my oldest nephew, and is one I’ve purchased again and again for the various children in my life, but I also have a big soft-spot for The Incredible Book-Eating Boy.

I like books, am far less keen on food and the back cover of the hardback edition looks like this:

Before you even get started on the story or the beautiful painted-and-collaged illustrations, that’s a lot to love.

As with both Sara Fanelli and Lauren Child, I’m very smitten with the way Oliver Jeffers uses type and hand-lettering. If nothing else, one thing I’ve learned this week is how important that is to me – the way words look, as well as how they sound and what they say.


His first picture book was only published six years ago, so you might be less familiar with Oliver Jeffers if you don’t have very young children (or, like me, a couple you can borrow once in a while), but I’m certain his already much-loved books are going to stand the test of time just as well as those by the other authors featured here this week.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to read this little series of posts over the last few days. Your comments and enthusiasm have been wonderful – varied, heartfelt, funny, enlightening, and very much appreciated. Whether you've been inspired to pick up a book or a paintbrush, I really hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Kirsty

x

2 comments:

Tina Burke said...

Again, you've written about another one of my faves - I love his work, too!

(I blogged and posted a behind-the-scenes video about him here, for those interested):
http://www.tinaburke.com.au/blog_files/oliver_jeffers.html

Thanks for this great series! Lovely eye-candy.

Carmen said...

Oh hi s work is gorgeous, I can't believe I've never heard of him. That illustration with the trees and the little rooms underneath is beautiful. DEFINITELY going to look out for him.

Thank YOU both Kirsty and Julie for a fabulous and definitely inspirational week :)

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