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The Way Back Home


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/ Key title Shining star Oliver Jeffers is back with this star spangled inter-galactic adventure tale in space! / Oliver Jeffers is the rising star of children's picture books and has now sold over 400k books since 2004 / His debut book 'How to Catch a Star' was short listed for The Booktrust Early Years Award in 2004 and won a CBI/Bisto Merit Award in 2005. / His second book, 'Lost and Found', won the Gold Award at the Nestle Children's Book Prize in 2005 plus was The Blue Peter Book of the Year in 2006 / 'The Incredible Book Eating Boy' was selected for Richard and Judy's Christmas Books in 2006 / Out of this world marketing and PR campaign -- blasting off on launch with high visibility retail promotions and extensive PR

About the Author

Oliver is a fresh new talent in picture books. He graduated from The University of Ulster in 2001 with First Class honours and has since exhibited his paintings around the world. He works as a freelance illustrator and artist. His debut book, 'How to Catch a Star', was short-listed for the Booktrust Early Years Awards in 2004 and his follow-up, 'Lost and Found', won the Gold Award at the Nestle Children's Book Prize in 2005.


PreS-Gr 2-Surprised but unfazed to find an airplane in his closet, a boy flies it to the moon, runs out of gas, meets a similarly stranded Martian, and makes a new friend. The charm of this story is how completely it maintains a childlike perspective. The boy is putting a full-size rowboat away when he finds the airplane: "He didn't remember leaving it in there, but he thought he'd take it out for a go right away." This approach continues in the watercolor, graphite, and collage artwork. Figures consist of circle heads, box bodies, and stick legs; the backgrounds are flat colors with a few scribbled-in clouds or puffs of exhaust. Humorous details abound. Before his initial flight, the boy systematically dresses in jacket, scarf, helmet, goggles, and gloves, then does a few stretches to prepare fully. After meeting the Martian, he parachutes home for supplies but gets distracted by his favorite television show. The Martian waits, impatiently checking his wristwatch. Eventually, the boy returns to the moon via a rope, both vehicles are repaired, and the travelers prepare to depart, wondering if they will ever meet again. The last page provides hope of keeping in touch when the boy receives an unusual transmitter in the mail. The message that friends are friends whether they are near or far comes through in a warm, amusing manner.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Praise for 'The Incredible Book Eating Boy' "mouth-wateringly irresistible" The Guardian "this is a book that children will devour." The Observer "The whole thing looks good enough to eat." Times Educational Supplement "a beautifully produced edition that really is good enough to eat." The Bookseller "with IBEB, Jeffers has produced his most appealing work yet, conjuring up a magical piece of fiction that is not only divinely illustrated and wittily told, but perfectly realised." Junior Praise for 'Lost and Found': 'An uplifting story!pictures of such spare beauty!suffused with a dreamlike quality.' Independent Online 'Oliver Jeffers makes impressive use of space in this affecting story of friendship!illustrations capture feelings of loss and loneliness through the most delicate nuances of facial expression!and body language.' Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian 'Beautifully illustrated, simple warm story!little children will love to share it.' Carousel 'Jeffers has a unique writing and illustrative style. It's a wonderful picture book.' Publishing News 'My picture book of the year, a joyful exploration of the power of friendship.' Irish Independent Praise for 'How to Catch a Star': 'The best recent picture book by light years! stylishly spellbinding.' Telegraph 'A story about possibilities and disappointments with a triumphant ending, all of which Jeffers captures through the beautifully expressive changing moods of his little boy.' The Guardian 'This is a magical, beautifully illustrated tale about reaching for dreams.' Mail on Sunday 'Hail to new talent! If only all picture books could be this good.' The Bookseller

Jeffers's (The Incredible Book Eating Boy) arrestingly illustrated book begins with the creation of a spare watercolor world--a single, nameless boy on a deserted beach. Quickly the story takes a surprising turn: the boy finds an airplane in his closet and crashes it on the moon. When he's joined by a similarly stranded Martian, the two strangers hatch a scrappy plan for rescue, suggesting a moral: it's good to work together. After the unusual narrative leaps at the beginning of the story, the message feels a little forced, and it's less fun than expected. Even so, a quality reminiscent of The Little Prince comes through, not just in the lone boy/outer-space setting, but in the balance between the humor in the predicament and loneliness. These two emotions are matched perfectly by the mixed-media art. Colorful figures swim in vast amounts of negative space, isolated and a bit melancholy, but their postures and faces are playful, almost comic. An odd scale and lopsided figures suggest a world off-kilter, while silly monsters and impossible feats keep things light. With uneven graphite outlines on watercolor-soaked paper that reveals the grain of the paper, the overall effect is tactile, textured and even a little childlike. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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