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 TheLittle 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Way Back Homeby Oliver Jeffers
When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: He flies it into outer space! Millions of/b>/i>
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes an imaginative tale of friendship in a world where what makes us different isn't nearly as important as what makes us the same.
When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: He flies it into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake, its fuel tank on empty. The boy executes a daring landing on the moon . . . but there’s no telling what kind of slimy, slithering, tentacled, fangtoothed monsters lurk in the darkness! (Plus, it’s dark and lonely out there.) Coincidentally, engine trouble has stranded a young Martian on the other side of the moon, and he’s just as frightened and alone. Martian, Earthling—it’s all the same when you’re in need of a friend.
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
- HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Oliver Jeffers (www.oliverjeffersworld.com) makes art and tells stories. His books include How to Catch a Star; Lost and Found, which was the recipient of the prestigious Nestle Children’s Book Prize Gold Award in the U.K. and was later adapted into an award-winning animated film; The Way Back Home; The Incredible Book Eating Boy; The Great Paper Caper; The Heart and the Bottle, which was made into a highly acclaimed iPad application narrated by Helena Bonham Carter; Up and Down, the New York Times bestselling Stuck; The Hueys in the New Sweater, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; and This Moose Belongs to Me, a New York Times bestseller. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oliver now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews