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Brooklyn author and illustrator publishes new book inspired by his son

Brooklyn BookBeat

April 9, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Oliver Jeffers and son Harland. Images courtesy of Penguin Random House
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“Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else… Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind.”

On Nov. 14, Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, will publish “HERE WE ARE: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” written and illustrated by world-renowned children’s book author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. Inspired by the birth of his son, Harland, “HERE WE ARE” is a moving and thought-provoking book in which Jeffers takes the reader on a journey through a series of heartfelt notes introducing planet Earth. The book will have a first print run of 500,000.

Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (you are here), or a guide to all of the animals (they can’t speak, though that’s no reason not to be nice  to them), Jeffers’ signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

“This book began two years ago when I became a new parent and realized, first hand, the massive responsibility of explaining our complex world to a completely blank slate,” says Jeffers. “As my son began to grow up, and the current political climate began unfolding, I increasingly wanted to find a way to talk about some of the basic values my parents had taught me, of kindness, tolerance and global responsibility. While each of us may feel we play the starring role in the film of our lives, in reality we are all connected, rotating around the sun equally and together.”

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Jeffers’ books include “How to Catch a Star,” “Lost and Found” and the New York Times bestsellers “Stuck,” This Moose Belongs to Me” and “Once Upon an Alphabet.” He is also the illustrator of the No. 1 bestsellers “The Day the Crayons Quit” and “The Day the Crayons Came Home,” both written by Drew Daywalt. There are 5.2 million copies of Jeffers’ books in print in the U.S. alone. He has been the recipient of some of children’s books highest accolades, including the Nestle Gold Medal for “Lost and Found” and the Irish Picture Book of the Year for “The Incredible Book Eating Boy.” An animated film of “Lost and Found” won a BAFTA for Best Animation in 2009. His fine art is world-renowned and his dip-art exhibitions are a much sought-after event. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oliver now lives and works in Brooklyn with his wife and young son.


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