Picture book giant Oliver Jeffers and typographic fine artist Sam Winston unveil the exquisite A Child of Books – their ground-breaking, inspiring and hauntingly beautiful picture book to be published by Walker Books.
A magical and unforgettable book for everyone, A Child of Books is a completely unique reading experience, blending illustration and the printed and written word in a way that explodes conventional perceptions of both. This is the first time Oliver has collaboratively written and illustrated a book with another artist – and the first time Sam has made a children’s book. Together they have created an immersive story of discovery; a picture book to cherish forever and a homage to classic children’s literature.
The trailer for A Child of Books can be seen here. The lyrical story begins with a little girl, a child of books, sailing her raft across a sea of words and inviting a small boy to come away with her on an adventure through the land of stories. The book uses Oliver’s signature handwriting and iconic, evocative artwork together with Sam’s astonishing typographic landscapes, perfectly shaped from printed extracts of forty-two classic books and lullabies**.
Each extract has been carefully chosen to build hidden narrative layers into the story of A Child of Books – words from Gulliver’s Travels are turned into waves, an extract from Frankenstein becomes a horned monster, the Grimm’s fairy tale Rapunzel cascades as a rope from the turrets of a castle, offering an escape to the characters in the story. Everything combines to create a contemporary and colourful thrill for the imagination.
Together, Oliver and Sam say that “From the very beginning we both wanted to create a tale that celebrated our own love of classic children’s literature with an added modern twist. For us it was about capturing some of the magic that happens when you first get lost in a timeless story, but doing it in a way that readers haven't seen before. We both wanted to pay homage to the amazing books we loved in our own childhoods, and it turned out that we used a whole library of these books to illustrate our Child of Books. We wanted this book to celebrate some of the great imaginations of the past, yet also (hopefully) inspire new generations to come.” Another first – and a literary phenomenon – is that the typographic art throughout A Child of Books, shaped from the printed extracts of classics, lullabies and nursery rhymes, will be translated for each individual foreign edition of the book. And, in some cases, foreign publishers are choosing to replace classics with those that will resonate more with their own audiences; and Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston oversee all the new selections and changes.
This makes A Child of Books one of the most complicated translation – and design – projects in literature today! Some countries have already made swaps replacing for example, in France, excerpts from The Wind in the Willows with fitting sections taken from The Little Prince. A Child of Books will encourage readers of all ages to question, to explore and to imagine. An infinite reminder of what books are, and all that they can do.
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Published by Walker Books on Thursday 1 September 2016
Price: £12.99 – Jacketed hardback
For further information please contact Deborah Goodman
DGPR: +44 (0)20 8959 9980 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The friends’ acclaimed individual artwork has been exhibited in galleries across the world and whose books can be found in many special collections worldwide including in the UK the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and the V&A.
Oliver is an artist whose work ranges from figurative painting and installation to illustration. His picture books include Lost and Found, How to Catch a Star, This Moose Belongs to Me and The Day the Crayons Quit, all of which have been translated into over 30 languages worldwide.
Oliver's talent has been recognized by several high-profile awards, including the Irish Book of the Year and the Blue Peter Book of the Year; as well as shortlists for the British Book of the Year, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Kate Greenaway Medal. Born in Australia, Oliver was brought up in Northern Ireland and now lives and works in New York.
Sam is a fine artist who exhibits internationally and whose books can be found in many special collections worldwide, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Tate Gallery London, and the V&A Museum. His work is also collected by the Library of Congress and commissioned by the New York Times. Sam lives and works in London.
Hush, Little Baby • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe • Little Red Cap as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi • Hansel & Gretel as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll • The Golden Goose as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie • Tom Thumb as told by Richard Johnson • The Golden Bird as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • Snow White and Rose Red as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley • Dracula by Bram Stoker • Rapunzel as told by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm • Suo Gân as adapted by Robert Bryan • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Taylor • Hush-a-Bye Baby as adapted by John Newbery • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum • Brahms’ Lullaby by Johannes Brahms • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame • Around the Moon by Jules Verne • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens • Moby Dick by Herman Melville • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett • Heidi by Johanna Spyri • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell • The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights by Sir Thomas Malory and Sir James Knowles • Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
One of the world’s leading independent publishers of books and content for children. This vibrant international group includes Walker Books UK, London; Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts; and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Renowned for its truly original publishing and outstanding quality, the Walker Books Group is home to books for readers of all ages. Award-winning authors and illustrators for the group include National Ambassador for Children's Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M.T Anderson, Patrick Ness, and Jon Klassen, and major brands for the group are Maisy, Guess How Much I Love You, Tilly and Friends, the widely acclaimed Judy Moody and the bestselling Where’s Wally/Where’s Waldo.