Book of the Week: The Way Back Home

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

Published: 2008 by Philomel

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

I’m admitting it here and now: Oliver Jeffers may be one of my favorite picture book authors.

I love how this book is all about imagination, and the awesome things that could happen when you use your imagination.

Jeffers attention to detail is astounding. For example, one the wall of the main character’s house, is a picture of him on the moon with a little red rocket.

The little boy is a real go getter. When he sees a plane just sitting there in the closet he takes it out for a spin, for an adventure. He does let fear get in the way.

Jeffers has a way of building tension. When the little boy’s plane starts to sputter, and it runs out of fuel – readers start to worry. What’s going to happen? Where is he going to land?

This is a story about space – and it even features an alien. I like aliens.

I love how the colors of the book’s pages reflect the action of the book. When the little boy first lands on the moon the page is blue, representing the night sky. But the very next page is black showing that it’s getting darker and the little light he does have is starting to fade.

I love how this book is about friendship, and the importance of being there for one another.

It also shows that we can make friends any place we go … even on the moon.

At first the little boy and the alien fear the worst of each other. The alien thinks the little boy is a three eyed, green monster which the little boy thinks the alien is a furry, horned monster.

There impressions of each other illustrates one’s natural fear of the unknown.

I love how these characters don’t let their differences stand in the way of friendship.

Even though they are so very different they are very much alike. Both of their flying objects have failed them, both were appropriate traveling head-gear, and both are smart.

I love how this book shows two heads are greater than one.

This book shows the importance of team work. And that any problem can be solved with team work.

It’s important to keep a promise, the little boy in this book shows that.

Just because these two characters are vastly different and live worlds away doesn’t stop them from being friends.

I love how this book made me think about life in outer space. And made me want to get out there and explore all the places I dream to explore one day.

This book is for the adventurous, and the adventurous at heart.

There really is something for everyone in this book. It’s funny, insightful, and heart warming.

Jeffers simple writing story is strong, and paints vivid pictures in reader’s minds.

The illustrations are done in Jeffers signature style.

The book as a whole is fun, inviting, and I imagine would make for a great bedtime story.

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