Up and Down

Up and Down

By Oliver Jeffers                     Published by Philomel Books in 2010.


I decided to step away from MY SHELF of picture books and visit my local library. It’s a delightful place on Sunday afternoons. It’s filled with parents and grandparents with young children searching through the picture books, and older adults rifling through the thrillers, romances and historical fiction shelves.

I borrowed some wonderful picture books by Oliver Jeffers, Jane Yolen and Matt De La Peña. One of my favorites is Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers.

Up and Down AmazonUp and Down is a story of adventure and friendship. The boy and the penguin are best friends. They do everything together. Until…

One day the penguin wants to soar—all by himself. He wants to step out of his comfort zone and do something everyone says is impossible. Through the story we see his failed attempts and, at last, what seems like success.

We also see throughout the story that his best friend encourages and helps him every way he can, and is right there to catch the penguin whether he succeeds or not.

In the end both the boy and the penguin learn that their friendship is the most important thing to each of them.

I think Up and Down is going to be a book I share with my grandkids more than once. I can see it sparking questions and discussion about friendship AND about daring to soar.

Do you know a child who needs some encouragement to be a better friend? Or to dare to try something new? Or, maybe even both.

Bet you do!



Author: Jean Matthew Hall

I'm old enough that I've enjoyed several phases in my life - daughter, wife, mom, grandma, student, teacher, administrator, writer, friend and encourager. I pray they all show Jesus to those around me.

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