Review: The Way Back Home

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GoldAardvarkGoldAardvarkGoldAardvarkGoldAardvarkGoldAardvark 5/5 aardvarks

Format: Board book or picture book
Age: 3-6
Author and illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Philomel (April 2008)
Pages: 32
ISBN-10: 0399250743
ISBN-13: 978-0399250743

Tidying his room one day, a boy finds an airplane. He takes it out for a spin, but runs out of gas on the moon. Coming from the other direction is a Martian, whose engine trouble lands him on the moon too. At first, the two are afraid of the noises they hear in the dark, but soon they discover that both boy and Martian just want the same thing: to go back home.

If you’ve discovered the singular Oliver Jeffers already, chances are you’ve ordered his entire oeuvre from the local library or bookstore. If not, you and the child(ren) in your life are in for quite a treat. Jeffers, from Northern Ireland, is a multi-talented artist, illustrator, designer, and writer whose paintings have been featured in galleries and museums across Europe and North America. His children’s books are sublimely whimsical, subtly philosophical, and wholly unforgettable. In The Way Back Home, a young boy discovers that he and an alien have more to bring them together than draw them apart. Children will love the engaging storyline and the ingenious pictures, and parents are unlikely to tire of re-reading — even the thirtieth time.