Monday, 16 February 2015

Burrow into a Book




Oliver Jeffers has become one of my favourite author/illustrators over the last few years. I remember my housemate showing me his book Lost and Found and immediately I was swept away with his simplistic yet stunning style. I love the way he presents his illustrations on the page and the different mediums he uses to create such a beautiful, colourful world.

His collaboration with author Drew Daywalt, The Day the Crayons Quit is a fantastic book that I have steadily been recommending since I first read it. No.1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, it is brilliant for young children as it is not only a beautifully crafted book with Jeffers squiggly, funny, rustic illustrations, but one that also really engages with the reader. It highlights and questtions ideas of creativity, individuality, duality and purpose in a fun, relaxed way. Why is is that we only use the Blue crayon to colour in skies, whales and seas? Why not use the pink or the yellow? Why does Mr White feel so empty and why is the Mr Beige always second to Mr Brown?

It is a book that is such as strong talking tool between parent and child. Each crayon personally writes a letter to their artist, Duncan, detailing, what they do and do not like about the way he uses them in his drawings. This itself is highly entertaining and insightful writing from Daywalt; the conversation between the adamant Orange and Yellow trying to decipher who is the true colour of the sun is  especially memorable. It is also a chance for lovely illustrations from Jeffers - via the use of different mediums, each letter 'stands' off the page (it is a picture of a real piece of paper) and is surrounded by various creatures, things and characters all coloured in using the colour in question.

It is such an imaginative story that literally ties in all the colours of the rainbow. For adults and children alike, this book will make you look at your crayons in a totally different way. Pure brilliance.


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