Oliver Jeffers: The Working Mind & Drawing Hand by Oliver Jeffers

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Before picking up this book, I didn’t know much about Oliver Jeffers. I had read a few of his picture books and would recognize his art style and signature handwriting in passing, but that was it. I have to tell you, though–this oversized deep dive into his artistic process entranced me and got me to check out every single Oliver Jeffers book.

I learned that in addition to writing and illustrating picture books, Jeffers also produces high-concept philosophical and political art that is displayed in galleries. I especially loved learning about a series of portraits he painted, which he would then dip almost completely in paint at a very small exhibition of around a dozen people. Those people would be the only humans to have seen the completed portrait, which now exists only in their memory.

This is a quick read, with far more pictures than words, but you could conceivably spend hours poring over the details in the immersive matte spreads. I recommend checking it out to see which details surprise you.

Available through the Bridges Library System

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