We have loved Oliver Jeffers in the Johnson house, since Squeaks was a little baby. 'How to Catch a Star' is synonymous with how Squeaks came into her life, and of course her name reflects this.
We received 'Up and Down' from Harper Collins and a result Squeaks became obsessed with Penguins, this results in her request for a penguin (and a crocodile) for her 3rd birthday.
'Up and Down' is a wonderful story about the friendship between the boy and the penguin, the animation is wonderful, somehow Squeaks also picks out the emotion of the different adventures and loves the places which are visited.
The book is a favourite of the bedtime choices,and with it's accompanying CD I have been permitted focus moments with the boys whilst Squeaks is distracted.
So, when I found out one of my working days in London collided with a event being organised by Harper Collins and Waterstones at Finchley Road, a begging email was looked on favourably and I managed to make the most of being in London!
Being able to listen to talk to someone about how the books that form such an integral part of your life are 'made' is absolutely inspiring. The more time I spend with Squeaks reading books, the more I am taken back to my own childhood, I have always loved books but to see their impact on someone so impressionable is such a positive experience.
To hear the person who creates these fantastic books, and to hear them speak so honestly and passionately. Was just a wonderful experience. The oddest thing to me was the realisation as to how different people are. Oliver was asked why the illustrations are such different styles in his books, the response as to how the imagery that matches what is seen in the mind is chosen when transferring ideas to papers made perfect sense. And I couldn't help but realise my mind does not work like this, I don't think I see pictures in my mind, I think I have just always seen words, and ergo my obsession with stationery. I love the idea that the human mind works so differently, and can't help but wonder already how my childrens minds will work.
Oliver's latest book is out 'The Hueys in the New Jumper' and I was fortunate enough to be able to get a signed copy for Squeaks. I am not sure if she appreciates who has written in her name in her book.... one day!
Squeaks loves her new book, admittedly she had a unique way of wearing her 'new jumper' and it soon became a book she could get to grips out whilst mummy tucks the boys in their cots.
Squeaks loves Gillespie more than Rupert, and bearing in mind this is a book about individuality, it was quite a special moment?!!?
I love knowing the background behind this book, knowing about the inspirations, of everyone being called 'Huey'. I hope one day Squeaks will understand.
Our love of Oliver Jeffers is set to continue, especially as I think the boys are nearly ready for their introductions!
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of 'Up and Down' for the purpose of this review, and also received an invitation to the Oliver Jeffers event at Waterstones. All opinions expressed are my own.