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The Fate of Fausto
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The Fate of Fausto

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  476 ratings  ·  111 reviews
There was once a man who believed he owned everything and set out to survey what was his.

“You are mine,” Fausto said to the flower, the sheep and the mountain, and they bowed before him. But they were not enough for Fausto, so he conquered a boat and set out to sea…

Working for the first time in traditional lithography, Oliver Jeffers, combines art with prose, hand set
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  476 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
2.75 STARS: A Coffee Table Book – Ok-ish but Not a Book I will Remember

I like the message in this little book, a good message for kids to learn/discover, but I don’t think this book depicts the message as wonderfully as it could have. The illustrations, for me were disappointing, they didn’t captivate my gaze and have me sighing in pleasure as I wished I could draw like the illustrator.

Plus, very little is written, I know this is a children’s book, but there was more than one page with only
Kate Wyver
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd like Oliver Jeffers to come and draw waves all over the walls in my house.
Ellie Labbett
I found myself feeling quite surprised by Jeffers’ latest release. By far, this feels like one of his most daring childrens books, and one that felt far more powerful to me than his other work. Taking on an entirely different, darker and foreboding tone to his previous stories, I felt a shift in Jeffers’ reflections on the world, the power of his narrative and perhaps a sense that he was hoping to evoke a different response in his readers.
The Fate of Fausto is a fable of sorts, telling the tale
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A surprise ending -- for a picture book anyway -- that I was very happy with. I doubt most parents will like it. I liked it.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A poingnant modern-day fable about greed and hubris.
Raven Black
This is not really for the picture book crowd. I think if you explain the story to the older child, they will appreciate the message, but may not pick it up right away. This is a book you experience on your own level due to biases and experiences. If anything, this is a coffee table picture book.
Hmmmm. I'm a big Oliver Jeffers fan, and I appreciate this parable about greed, illustrated (surprisingly -- I didn't know until I read it) via traditional lithographic printmaking. Printmaking takes a LOT of compositional planning, so it's a nice study of the book to know that each of Jeffers' minimal lines and gestures is very intentional, even as they still look loose and childlike. Still, this is one of those extra-long, not-quite-clear-about-audience adult/child picture books. The story ...more
Katie Mote
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an interesting book. It's about a man who wants to own everything and tries to make everything his. And with all his power he still isn't satisfied, he still wants more. Thats when the sea shows him that he cant have everything. The thing that I particularly liked about this book was the illustrations. How they were simple yet very effective. They move along with the story, we see large pictures and little pictures, sometimes we have not pictures at all. I feel like they represent the ...more
A fable of greed and the over powering need of it. Surprise ending-kudos to the author/illustrator.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Jeffers does it again! With The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable, he has created a timeless tale of greed and hubris completely suited to our current time. With shades of both The Little Prince and the works of Jon Klassen, and a moral that encompasses both the endurance of nature and the importance of understanding, this gorgeous picture book is sure to appeal to adults and kids alike.
Colin Garrow
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A greedy man who thinks he owns everything, sets out to review his domain. He tells the flower, “You are mine,” and the flower agrees. Fausto declares the same to the sheep and the mountain, who also agree. But when Fausto sets out in a boat, things don’t go his way.

I’ve been a fan of Oliver Jeffers since reading ‘How to Catch a Star’ to my son a few years ago. The artwork in this book is lovely and as always, Jeffers’ tale is not a simple one – rather it’s one that prompts questions about
Kris Dersch
It's not a terrible book. I'm glad I didn't share it with my kid. I read him most picture books even those over his head (he's 5,) but this one definitely falls in the for big kids and adults category. It's not a bad message and not a bad book but I don't really know who it's aimed at or what it's trying to do and I don't think it does either. Maybe the picture book format isn't its home?
Mostly, I just wanted to see Oliver Jeffers illustrate the poem by Vonnegut that is quoted at the end.
I love Oliver Jeffers' work, he is definitely in the top 5 of my favorite illustrators. The Fate of Fausto was not my favorite when it comes to the feel of the story, but it has a good message for kids to learn about greed. The illustrations are simple, and some pages don't even have illustrations at all, which I think actually adds to the story.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is certainly an interesting one, with beautiful illustrations that we come to expect from Jeffers and a meaningful message throughout it does have quite a shocking twist to the end.
I can't quite decide if it's a happy ending or not...
Oct 07, 2019 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, 2-5-grades
Don't be greedy!
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the simplicity, message, and artwork.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I had encountered this as a child, I think it would've stayed with me for the rest of my life. Instead, the fables my father told in lieu of bedtime stories fill that role, and this, while as charming as I find all of Oliver Jeffers' work, serves more as a pleasant reminder of those tales than a new and poignant insight.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Huh. I'm not really sure who this was written for. It makes sense as a fable for adults and older kids about greed and nature - kind of like if the tree in The Giving Tree gave the guy finger and knocked him out with a tree branch or something. But more fatal. Oh the hubris! I love that word.
Sep 24, 2019 added it
The character of Fausto, who is a jerk, drowns at the end of the story and nobody cares. I understand the message this book is trying to get across, but I don't think it is told in an appropriate manner for the stated recommended age group of 4-8 year olds. It's a story older kids can appreciate, but I would not read it to a preschooler.
You might recognize Oliver Jeffers's name from my recommendation of Stuck few months ago. When Penguin Random House asked me if I'd like to share his newest book, The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable (releasing today!), I jumped at the opportunity, because I love Jeffers’s books.

The Fate of Faustois the story of a man who believes he is entitled to everything in the natural world and sets out to claim all as his. He convinces the flower, the sheep, and more that they belong to him, and each
Bonnie Lambourn
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pic-bk-5-up
I think the story was well told, with a message that is not often seen in a picture book. That said, it seems not sure it is for children...with a message after from Kurt Vonnegut.

As a huge Jeffers fan, it was a big disappointment to me. It reeks of The Little Prince [a long time favorite of mine, albeit I came to it as a teen] - and while people can argue over the Little Prince's ending, whether it is hopeful, hopeless, spiritual, aligned with death or with transformation.... here in Fausto's
‘The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable’ written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers is a stunning picture book intended for children aged 4 and up.

This simple fable tells of a man who believed that he owned everything and set out to survey what was his. He browbeat a flower, a sheep, a tree, and even a mountain (after a tantrum) to bow to him. Not satisfied he decides to take a boat out and demand that the sea acknowledges that he owns it - this doesn’t go well for Fausto.

The message here is an
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A picture book fable, it tells the story of a man, Fausto, who believed that he owned everything. He set out to survey all he owned. He owned the flower, he owned the sheep, and he owned the tree. He claimed ownership of a field, a forest and lake. When he tried to claim a mountain, the mountain refused until Fausto put up an amazing fight and showed the mountain who was boss. The mountain reluctantly agreed that he belonged to Fausto. Fausto then headed onto a boat and out into the sea. He told ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
A very short children's-style book about greed and its consequences. Although I'm completely down with the message, the story really fell flat for me emotionally. Not as deep as it seems to want to be, yet possibly too oblique for young children. (Though children can be really perceptive, so you never know.) I did think that the illustrations had a nice character to them.

The Vonnegut poem printed at the end of the book says it best:

Joe Heller

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
“There was once a man who believed he owned everything.”

A man claims flowers, sheep, lakes, and even a mountain as his by yelling and screaming until they submit. But when he tries to claim the sea as his, the sea does not submit. And the man’s lack of understanding leads to his downfall. And all that he owned “carried on as before” because “the fate of Fausto did not matter to them.”

A simple yet very powerful fable for today’s culture of greed. In the end, you can own everything in the world,
Emily Foster
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, it was so simple yet so effective. The cover immediately caught my eye and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story follows a man who wants to control everything but is never satisfied with what he gets so he searches for more. That is until he tries to control the sea who shows him he cannot control the sea as he doesn't understand it. The illustrations are so simple with some pages being blank apart from a few words and with some being full page bleeds. It has a ...more
Alyce Hunt
Although I loved the moral of The Fate of Fausto - that man is insignificant and nature will remain long after we are gone - this was one of the laziest picture books I've ever read. Most of the pages were completely blank with a simple line of text at the top, often just two or three words to each page, and although the illustrations that were featured were gorgeous they just weren't very well integrated with the rest of the story. Absolutely disappointing, especially when you compare it with ...more
(Propriety warning: profanity ahead)

I love all types of picture books - silly, lyrical, dark, historical - but my favorites are the quiet, serious books that are sparsely worded but huge with meaning. The Fate of Fausto falls into this category.

Fausto is a jerk. Fausto is a bully and a blowhard. And a resource grabber and worst of all, full of entitlement.

And Fausto learns a lesson: you might think you are the biggest, baddest thing on earth, but earth doesn't give a fuck.

In this political
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
In many ways, this is a book for older students and adults. The simple text and illustrations can be read by younger students but they may miss some of the deeper message. Not surprising as Jeffers often has messages for all levels in his work.
Fausto believes he can own everything around him. He starts by claiming a flower and works up to owning the sea. As the areas he claims get larger, the tantrums to claim them get larger also. Readers see a man obsessed with possessions and owning the
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Oliver Jeffers' work takes many forms. His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in galleries worldwide, and HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his award-winning picture books, now translated into over 30 languages.

In 2007, Jeffers was the official illustrator for World Book Day, and in 2008 Lost and Found became Oliver's first book to made into animation by London-based Studio AKA.