I’ve recently become kind of obsessed (okay, super obsessed) with Oliver Jeffers’ books. I love them. They are adorable and genius and simple and wonderful. Did I mention that I love his books? Haha. I’ve already reviewed The Day the Crayons Quit, The Incredible Book-Eating Boy and The Way Back Home. Anyway, I’ve pretty much read all of his books that are currently in my library’s system, so this week, I’m going to do six mini reviews of his books. So far this week, I’ve reviewed Lost and Found, Up and Down, The Great Paper Caper, Stuck, and This Moose Belongs to Me.
The Hueys are all the same: egg-shaped little dudes that all think the same way, do the same things, and look exactly the same. Until one day when Rupert knits himself a cool little orange sweater. Gasp! Rupert is different, and he is ostracized. That is until Gillespie (can I just take a moment to say how freaking awesome the names Rupert and Gillespie are for children’s book characters??) notices and thinks that being different is interesting. So what does he do? Why, he knits himself his own cool little orange sweater! Soon everyone is doing it and Rupert must find a new way to be different.
At first it seemed that Jeffers was commenting on the fact that it is almost impossible to be different in our society – where everyone will do the same thing if it is cool and everyone else is doing it. Everyone was being different but they were all doing it in exactly the same way. But then you reach the end and you flip the last page, and all of the Hueys are there in bright, vivid colors – all different! I think this one teaches kids how to be different by thinking outside of the box. Yes, there are trends and people like to fit in and do what others are doing, but you should be like Rupert. Be yourself, set trends, think outside the box. I still think Jeffers’ is commenting on society’s need to be different by being exactly the same, but I like the other theme too!