A Child of Books

A Child of Books book cover

You must see the amazing illustrations in this book that celebrates a love affair with reading, and the stories that sweep readers away to new worlds and bold adventures.

A Child of Books
by Oliver Jeffers; illustrated by Sam Winston
Candlewick Press, 2016
ISBN 978-0-7636-9077-9
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
Picture book, fiction
Interest level: grades 2 and up; reading level: 3.4
5 out of 5 stars


This book celebrates a love affair with reading and the stories that sweep readers away to new worlds and bold adventures. The illustrations are what make this story something magical and special.

The illustrations are a combination of black and white pencil sketches, and some watercolor that are done is subdued shades of mostly gray. The “child of books” is a girl who is reading a book, while dangling her legs off a raft, into water that is made up of words. This begins the amazing illustrations where passages from famous stories make up the shapes in the world in which our characters travel. For example, one page reads, “We will sleep in clouds of song,” and the image shows two children curled up in cloud shapes made of the words from well-known lullabies.

The black, white, and gray world fades away to a page blazing with color and images that reads “For this is our world we’ve made from stories…” What a wonderful message about the brilliance and color that stories and books give to our world.

The audience for this picture book is older. Adults who grew up as readers will especially feel nostalgic recognizing some of the classic stories that make up the illustrations. Older children will be able to enjoy the amazing illustrations and grasp the author’s message of the power and magic of reading.

Even though children would not be able to distinguish the text that make up the illustrations, I think this would make a good read-aloud, for older elementary and up. The idea of text creating some of the scenes would intrigue listeners, and the story itself is short, and a good length for sharing. Children would be inclined to go back to the book on their own to really examine and re-read.

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