I’m a big fan of Oliver Jeffers. Little Miss E was given his book Lost And Found as a newborn and it was one of the first stories we ever read to her. We’ve borrowed a few of Jeffers’ other books from the library, including the beautiful How To Catch A Falling Star and The Incredible Book Eating Boy.
And then, last May I bought The Way Back Home after reading this article by Chris Evans about why parents must read to their children. Now, I’m not particularly a Chris Evans fan (no offence, Chris), but this article made me cry because he echoes my belief that reading to your children is one of the most important things you can do with them. I genuinely don’t think I would be where I am today if I hadn’t been read to, and been encouraged to read, as a child, and I hope I can give that gift to my three children, too.
The Way Back Home, like all Jeffers’ books, is quirky, heart-warming and accompanied by simple yet endearing pictures that have a child-like quality to them.
The book follows a boy – whose name we are never told but who also appears in Lost and Found, and How To Catch A Falling Star – as he finds an old-fashioned aeroplane and heads off into space. However, he runs out of petrol and finds himself stuck on the moon and starting to feel lonely. That is, until he meets an alien, also stuck on the moon due to engine failure.
Like all of Jeffers’ books, you have to let go of reality in this book and enjoy the story for what it is: a touching tale of unlikely friendship and teamwork as the duo try to get back home. The simplicity and surrealism of the stories really appeals to my children, and Cardiff Daddy and I love the subtle inspiring underlying themes.
The Way Back Home is perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers, and any child who likes space, aliens or fixing things. You don’t need to have read any of the other books in the boy series to enjoy this one, although they work well together, and it’s fun to spot characters from the other books appearing throughout the series.
You might also like this post on 11 classic books to read to your toddler, which includes Lost And Found.
You can read all of my children’s book posts here.
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