Add speakerRemove speakerSpeaker added

Oliver Jeffers

World-Renowned Picture Book Maker and Artist

TED | An ode to living on Earth
  • About Oliver Jeffers

    Oliver Jeffers is a world renowned artist, storyteller, and truly creative, innovative thinker, whose work has been celebrated by children and adults alike. His artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum and High Line Park in New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Palais Auersperg in Vienna. He was the Art Director for U2’s “Songs of Innocent and Experience” tour and has collaborated with the band on their music videos. As a freelance artist, Jeffers has created illustrations for The New York Times, The Telegraph, Newsweek, and Oprah Magazine.

    Oliver Jeffers highly acclaimed debut into the world of picture books with How to Catch a Star, was followed by the publication of the 2014 Children’s Choice Book Award’s Book of the Year, The Day the Crayons Quit, which also received the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. One year later, Lost and Found, a poignant, funny, and heartwarming story about friendship, won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and was the Blue Peter Book of the Year. It was later made into a BAFTA-winning animated short film. His eighteenth book published in 2017, Here We Are, was a New York Times bestseller that was named NPR Best Book of 2017, a Boston Globe Best Book of 2017, and a Times Magazine Best Book of the Year. Here We Are, which is an insightfully sweet and humorous user’s guide to life on Earth, has been adapted into a short-animated film narrated by Meryl Streep on Apple TV+. What We’ll Build, his exquisite picture book, is gorgeously told father-daughter story and companion to the #1 New York Times bestseller Here We Are.

    A personable and entertaining speaker, Oliver Jeffers talks about how humor and curiosity drive his creativity, his writing and illustrating process, and his career both as an artist and an author. In his recent TED talk, he offers observations on the “beautiful, fragile drama of human civilization” paired with his original illustrations and animations.

    Jeffers grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He went to Hazelwood College and graduated from the University of Ulster. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his family.

    Contact us for more information about booking Oliver Jeffers for your next event.

  • Speaking Topics

    Drawing Pictures and Telling Stories

    This interactive and family friendly event brings Oliver’s picture book characters to life through stories and live illustration.

    The Working Mind and Drawing Hand of Oliver Jeffers

    Open to all audiences but particularly focused towards young adult and adult. Jeffers discusses the power of storytelling through art, exploration in conceptual art, inspiration through observation and social activism. He shares his thoughts on storytelling, picture book making and navigating the world around us. The audience is taken through a brief history of his fine art practice and series, picture books, his social commentary, and how each practice cross-references and influences one another.

  • Video

  • Praise for Oliver Jeffers

    Praise for There’s a Ghost In This House

    Unquestionably eerie but still light-hearted.

    The New York Times Book Review

    Mr. Jeffers has pulled off quite a trick here: He has managed to turn Shirley Jackson’s "The Haunting of Hill House” into a cheery, unthreatening seek-and-find for children.

    The Wall Street Journal

    Jeffers adds loose line drawings to found black-and-white photographs of an 18th-century mansion that has plenty of dark corners—the narrator climbs a library ladder, lingers in hallways, and peers in cupboards and under a bed. Since readers decide when the ghosts appear, anxiety-inducing suspense isn’t an issue in this conceptually comic treat that puts the reader in control.

    Publishers Weekly

    Praise for The Fate of Fausto

    This minimalistic masterpiece is a must-read for all ages.

    School Library Journal (starred review)

    Praise for Here We Are

    A true work of art.


    Moments of human intimacy jostle with scenes that inspire cosmic awe, and the broad diversity of Jeffers’s candy-colored humans…underscores the twin messages that ‘You’re never alone on Earth’ and that we’re all in this together.

    Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

    Praise for A Child of Books

    … a fresh and fascinating collaboration between two gifted masters.

    The New York Times Book Review

    Jeffers and Winston’s mixed-media artwork, an inventive combination of watercolor, pencil, and digital collage, elicits strong notice from readers. Jeffers’ uneven, hand-lettered text contrasts dramatically with Winston’s digitally manipulated lines of classic prose…An ingenious, confident, and pretty cool exploration of literary delight.

    Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)

    Jeffers and Winston’s first collaboration is a celebration of the child’s world, illustrated in sumptuous double-page spreads featuring explosions of images borrowed from unforgettable sources…Every one of its elements—the haunting prose poem executed in hand- lettered words; the pictures done in watercolor, pencil, and digital collage; and the objects built from words borrowed from classic stories—all work together toward a richly harmonious whole. An irresistible invitation to read.

    Booklist (Starred review)

    This haunting mixed-media art book will appeal to literature lovers of all ages.

    New York Post

    A gorgeous, innovative musing on the power of storytelling. A nameless young girl who calls herself a child of books narrates in lyrical, spellbinding verse. Some, she says, have forgotten the importance of stories, but she finds a boy and introduces him to her world, a land created through a marriage of Jeffers’s evocative art and Winston’s masterly use of typography…Use this wholly original celebration of the story as a jumping-off point for conversations about art and writing. A masterpiece.

    School Library Journal (Starred review)

    This delightful treasure hunt through children’s literature will have you digging through your bookshelves, hunting for forgotten phrases and making room among the tomes for this book.


    Jeffers and typographic artist Winton collaborate on a hymn to the power of imagination, in which witty pen-and-ink drawings meet manipulated blocks of type, composed of passages from children’s classics…the energy of the images bursts from the pages, “for imagination is free.”

    Publishers Weekly

    Each illustration cleverly incorporates text from classic works of literature into the art…This is fantastically imaginative and smart book that is sure to engage children of all ages.

    Cool Mom Picks (blog)

    It’s a lyrical picture book that celebrates the power of imagination…What a great way to stretch the imagination and teach reading all at once!

    Literature lovers won’t want to miss A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston.

    Parents magazine

    As masterful as a book can be in extolling the richness that reading brings to our lives, A Child of Books is a glorious offering.

    Reading Eagle (from Kendal Rautzhan)

    Kids and adults alike will marvel at the artistry and the message of A Child of Books, that we can build our own houses of invention and creativity where all are welcome, "for imagination is free.

    Omnivoracious (blog)

    Praise for An Alphabet

    [W]itty from A to Z . . . no one would blame you for having a copy even if there are no kids in the house. Think of it as Edward Gorey for the preschool set — and their hip parents.

    The Washington Post

    Handsome, humorous and clad in bright tomato-red, [this] is the sort of book you may want to rush into the arms of imaginative, good-natured children between 4 and 10 years old. [T]his is no traditional abecedarian exercise.The stories are wonderfully varied, sometimes philosophical and often end surprisingly; the drawings are just as quirky and unpredictable.

    The Wall Street Journal

    Jeffers knows how to catch the attention of his young audience while challenging their imagination, intellect and vocabulary. This whimsical exploration of letters and language begs to be read over and over again.


    Whimsical, funny, occasionally tragic, and highly entertaining, this collection of (sometimes) interlocking tales is brilliantly inventive.

    Horn Book, (Starred review)

    An altogether stimulating, surprising, and satisfying reading experience.

    School Library Journal, (Starred review)

    With wry humor, equally droll ink illustrations, and a solid dose of alliteration, Jeffers creates delightful mini-narratives for each letter of the alphabet.

    Publishers Weekly, (Starred review)

    The silly, spare, slightly surreal text occasionally rhymes and endlessly surprises. An utterly delightful alphabet book.

    Kirkus Review (Starred review)

    Praise for The Hueys in What’s The Opposite?

    A clever concept book from beginning to end.

    Kirkus Reviews

    An amusing twist on the traditional concept book by a beloved master of shape and line.

    School Library Journal, (Starred review)

    Even readers who know the basics of opposites will get their minds blown here, as a glass is considered half full on one page but also half empty on the next. It’s not easy to be so very simple and so very clever, but Jeffers manages in this laugh-aloud offering that will get groups giggling.

    Booklist, starred review

    Praise for The Day the Crayons Came Home

    Highly anticipated (yes, even for adults)

    Entertainment Weekly

    Praise for The Day the Crayons Quit

    Utterly original.

    San Francisco Chronicle

    These memorable personalities will leave readers glancing apprehensively at their own crayon boxes.

    Publishers Weekly, (Starred review)

    This colorful title should make for an uproarious storytime.

    School Library Journal, (Starred review)

    This book will have children asking to have it read again and again.

    Library Media Connection

    Fresh and funny.

    The Wall Street Journal

    Jeffers . . . elevates crayon drawing to remarkable heights.


    Hilarious . . . Move over, Click, Clack, Moo; we’ve got a new contender for the most successful picture-book strike.”

    BCCB, (Starred review)

    Praise for The Incredible Book Eating Boy

    This well-done package will charm its audience. The snappy text works well for reading aloud, but older children will enjoy exploring the subtle details hidden in the illustrations and backgrounds

    School Library Journal, (Starred review)

    Praise for Lost and Found

    Youngsters will cheer the pals' inevitable reunion and will…request an immediate rereading of this gently humorous and heartwarming tale of friendship found, lost and regained.

    Publishers Weekly, (Starred review)
  • Books by Oliver Jeffers

  • Media About Oliver Jeffers

Request Fees
and Availability

  • 212 572-2013

Similar Speakers

Bill Burnett

Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford and co-author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling book Designing Your Life

Jerry Saltz

Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic for New York magazine