Review Blog

Nov 09 2010

Up and down by Oliver Jeffers

cover image

HarperCollins Children's Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0007263844.
Recommended. Picture book. The penguin and the boy are the best of friends. They always do things together. Because he does have wings, the penguin decides that he wants to fly and that is something that he tries although his wings didn't work very well. Ignoring the boy's advice, he continues on his quest to fly alone, leaving his friend behind.
This is a beautiful warm story about the power of friendship. Although the penguin is determined to fly by himself, the boy doesn't give up on him and is there to help him make a happy landing after his adventures.
Beautiful colours and amusing images of the boy and the penguin make this a visually appealing book to look at. Jeffers uses sombre colours and wistful expressions on the faces of the two companions to show how they were missing each other, and more vibrant happy shades to denote cheerfulness. My favourite picture comes at the end of the book and has a gorgeous pink background, with the penguin scooting along and the boy walking on stilts, making 'a break for home.'
Although Up and down is the fourth book about the boy and the penguin, it reads as a stand-alone and would be a valuable addition to a collection.
Pat Pledger

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