Oliver Jeffers is at it again and this time he is using traditional lithography with a masters touch – a technique which sings from the pages of The Fate of Fausto. Not only does Jeffers create another classic story, he’s able to conjure a modern day fable that is more simplistic than his usual storytelling, but having said that, Jeffers has created something quite beautiful, poignant and unique. A must for Jeffers fans!
The Fate of Fausto is breathtakingly simplistic in its approach, illustrations and storytelling; and it’s this simplicity quality which enables the story, the fable aspect of Jeffers work, to touch the hearts and minds of its readers – no matter what age you are, you’ll find something to love about this story. It’s a book which enables each reader or listener to come away with their own message, each person taking away key elements of Jeffers’ fable – which is magical to watch and shows the undeniable talent he wields as a storyteller. I read the story to my wife, and two children (aged eight and four) and all of us came away with a different message from The Fate of Fausto.
It’s Oliver Jeffers, so we know that the illustrations are going to be gorgeous and he doesn’t disappoint, with a muted palette, Jeffers’ artwork is spectacular, each deftly crafted illustration seems to drip from the page with all the magical brilliance we’ve come to know and most of us expect from his various works. Although there are a lot of blank spaces on the page, this bleakness on the page helps to tighten the experience for the reader, with the rare splashes of colour and intricate details pop out from the book.
It’s also a book which I feel reluctant readers would also enjoy, as well as younger readers – the font is large and accessible. Whilst not being an overly wordy book, it’s a book whose story is powerful, and the prose a delight, it seems to fall off the tongue with a musicality that enraptures the reader and beguiles the listener.
The Fate of Fausto is an endearing tale which keeps on giving long after the story has finished, with my daughters discussing the themes and the message behind the book long into the evening. Its message, at its core, is that you should be grateful and contented with what you have – it is enough, you are enough. But my daughters outlook on the story was completely different, they said that it was about relationships and not telling people that they have to belong to you, or play with you, or be with you – Fausto should have been more kind, more honest and friendly with those he met, instead of forcing his views on others.
The Fate of Fausto is magic, a warming tonic to the soul. A book that is as beautifully crafted as the message that it contains…a must read!
The Fate of Fausto is published by HarperCollinsChildren’s and is available here.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
You can follow STORGY KIDS by clicking on social media images below.
Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY KIDS is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing the words of Children’s writers. If you would like to buy us a coffee you can by clicking the link below.
Your support, as always, continues to inspire.