Questions from Junior Reporters:
Why do you write picture books and not chapter books?
- Niru, Age 10
The beautiful thing about picture books is that the story is told in two parts - the words and the pictures doing different things, with the full potential of the story not realized until they come together in the reader’s head. I’ve made pictures much longer than I’ve been writing stories, so, as much as I like writing, I don’t think I could ever make a book without them.
Where do you get the ideas for your books?
- Gabriella, Age 6
Everywhere. I always get my best ideas when I’m not paying attention, because that’s when I see something out of the ordinary, some small wonder that may be overlooked by very busy people. There are stories everywhere you look. The trick is to be quiet and patient enough to spot them.
My favourite book is It Wasn’t Me. How did you come up with the name The Hueys?
- Finley, Age 5
My Grandfather Tommy and Granny Kathleen had 8 children, 17 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandsons (no great-granddaughters for whatever reason). Tommy could never remember any of our names, so he just called all of us Huey. I’ve always thought Tommy was a pretty smart guy (his favourite piece of advice is “never eat anything bigger than your head in one sitting!”), so when I needed a name for a bunch of characters who all looked the same, I thought of his little trick.
Do you do events?
As much as I enjoy saying hello to everyone who enjoys my books, my workload means I can only undertake a few tours a year. My events can be found on my website.
Event/publicity enquiries USA:
Event/publicity enquiries rest of world:
Can I get a signed book?
If you’d like to support my local bookshop, you can purchase a signed book from Books Of Wonder in New York.
Visit www.booksofwonder.com online or use their contact form.
Sadly, I cannot accept books in the mail to sign and be returned. If you would like a book personalized, please check out where I will be on my events page.
Do you sell any prints or original artwork?
Through my online store I sell picture book and fine art prints, maps with pins, and jewelry made with Digby & Iona.
If you're looking for original oil paintings and other fine art, please contact Lazarides Gallery, London or Gestalten, Berlin.
If you're interested in original picture book art, please contact Chris Beetles Gallery, London.
Do you have activity sheets for teachers and parents?
I do in fact, you can download them here.
Any advice for artists/illustrators who are just starting out?
Work hard and be ok with hearing no as an answer.
Be honest with yourself about your ability.
If you really believe you are good enough, then you shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks about your work. If it really is good enough, it will be seen for what it is.
- NeueJournal: “Oliver Jeffers: Humor & Lots of Thoughts About Seagulls,” March 2016
- The Independent: “Oliver Jeffers on ebooks, picture books, and scientific creativity in his new fine-art exhibition,” December 2015
- Artsy: Oliver Jeffers Rethinks the Ways We Measure the Earth, November 2015
- The Guardian: “Invite only: step into Oliver Jeffers' secret art society,” November 2015
- BBC News: “Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer create Imaginary Fred,” October 2015
- The Irish Times: “Oliver Jeffers Wins 25th CBI Book of the Year Award for Once Upon an Alphabet,” May 2015
- T Magazine: “Oliver Jeffers’s Art of Bearing Witness,” April 2015
- The Guardian: “Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers – a glorious romp of a book for all ages,” December 2014
- Hyperallergic: “Art That Was Always Meant to Be Hidden,” November 2014
- Interview Magazine: “Locating Loss With Oliver Jeffers,” November 2014
- NPR: “In This 'Alphabet,' 'O' Is For Helpful Owl And 'C' Is For Escapist Cup,” October 2014
- Spin: “u2 Join Black Friday Pack With ‘Ordinary Love’ and ‘Breathe’ Vinyl,” October 2013
- Hyperallergic: “Monkey vs. Whale? Butterfly vs. Lobster? Artists Stage an Installation of Epic Animal Battles,” March 2013
- It’s Nice That: “Oliver Jeffers’ limited-edition monograph is an object of beauty,” February 2013
- The Village Voice: “Q&A: Oliver Jeffers and Adrian Coleman of the Brooklyn Museum’s GO Project,” December 2012
- The Guardian: “Oliver Jeffers: a life in Pictures,” May 2011