Review | Monday 23 April 2012
A new Oliver Jeffers picture book is always a cause for celebration, and The New Jumper is a gem. The Hueys are a large group of egg-shaped creatures who look, think and act identically. When one of the Hueys, Rupert, breaks free from conformity to knit and don a fancy orange jumper, the other Hueys are shocked.
But gradually the group comes to realize that Rupert’s jumper is in fact rather lovely. Maybe they could also wear orange jumpers …Jeffers’s illustrations and words are stripped back to complete simplicity in this book, to wonderful effect. The Hueys are an adorable bunch, and I found myself smiling at every page-turn.
Kids and parents alike will enjoy the story of fashion-forward Rupert, and the sheep-like Hueys. And for those who are worried that we’re all a bunch of hopeless conformists, Jeffers gives us a very satisfying wordless ending.
Leanne Hall is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton, and a writer of young adult fiction. Her novel This Is Shyness won the Text Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Writing, and her latest, The Queen of the Night, was released in 2012. She blogs at the longblinks.com and you can follow her on twitter - @lilymandarin.