Living in London may have its challenges but it also has many perks, and famed artist/author Oliver Jeffers signing books at a local bookstore was a high point in my week.
The master plan was to get a copy of Stuck signed for E along with two copies of Jeffers' new book, This Moose Belongs to Me, for a friend and a cousin. A very rambunctious E was accompanied by his friend Olivia. I settled down on the floor to read 'Stuck' to them while we waited, and we were soon joined by a slightly older and much cooler Jeffers admirer who plopped down beside them to patiently listen to the story with the little ones. This little dude was so excited to meet Jeffers that I almost felt like an imposter. He had a stack of his favorite titles and proceeded to talk about why he liked them and which bits were best. He really liked Stuck but preferred his copy with an orangutan on the back to our new paperback. I neglected to get his name but his recommendations included: The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Hueys - The New Jumper, and Up and Down. I'd take this kid's word for it. He definitely knew his stuff.
E was oddly still and quiet when Jeffers signed his copy of Stuck. I tried to explain that this was the person who wrote it but that fell on deaf ears. Jeffers was quick to remind me that he illustrated it too and then proceeded to draw lovely creatures next to the names in each book. I think E understood that this was something special ... not least because I wasn't scolding the guy for drawing all over the book!
If you're new to Jeffers' work then Stuck and How to Catch a Star are great titles to get started with. This Moose Belongs to Me is probably for a slightly older audience but worth getting your hands on a copy just to swoon at the illustrations. I also hear that there's a great app based on his book titled The Heart and the Bottle. And if that's not enough, Jeffers is currently releasing and promoting a new fine art book about his work, Neither Here Nor There. Read about all this and more at Oliver Jeffers.
Happy reading and a big thank you to Oliver Jeffers and Watersones!