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The Fate of Fausto
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The Fate of Fausto

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,282 ratings  ·  234 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 usin
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,282 ratings  ·  234 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 on
Dave Schaafsma
A kind of fable or allegory for our times, probably an all-ages book as it speaks to power and greed and man's sense of "dominion" or "ownership" of the natural world. A rich man claims he owns trees, mountains, seas, but in the end he, in all of his hubris, (sorry, spoiler) drowns. He knows how to scream, but he can't swim. He doesn't know how to live in cooperation with the planet. The fate of these natural dimensions did not matter to him except in that he could own them. He didn't know anyth ...more
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. ...more
Ellie L
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
Elizabeth A
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: art, 2020, kids-ya
This picture book is rather strange, and not one I'd recommend reading to little ones. It starts out in a fun way, but gets really dark. I liked the whimsical illustrations, but the text isn't compelling. I get the message - human greed will come and go, and the nature will continue on - and it's a good one, but this isn't one that will stay with me. ...more
More than half of the book was weirdly set with nothing but a sentence written on top. It was disappointing to see all the blank spaces especially in an illustrated book for children.
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.
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 wou ...more
Edward Sullivan
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A poingnant modern-day fable about greed and hubris.
Ⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓨ Ⓚⓔⓔⓝ Ⓡⓔⓐⓓⓢ
Dark ending. Great paintings for this fable. Sad ending. A little harsh for a picture book.
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Jeffers is one of the great when it come to children book. His art is amazing and he proves it here. Such a beautiful book all by itself, the canvas of the page, the frame, the illustrations/painting, and if that wasn't enough what a story! A fable for the ages. A bit of a dark ending for children, but the lesson it will teach them is priceless!! Amazing works! Truly! ...more
Marilyn B
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t often review picture books - not wanting to skew my GoodReads book count at the end of the year - and really, as a school librarian if I reviewed every picture book I read, I would have a crazy high count. BUT this might be one of my VERY FAVOURITE BOOKS EVER.

...Pardon the shouting.

I love this book and I love the imagery so much that I had to read it to every class grade 3-7 this week. I could hug this book I love it so much. I would love some of the illustrations to frame.

There is so
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.
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 em ...more
Emily Duchon
I did not expect this ending at all. With everything going on in the world regarding climate change, I find this very timely. Life goes on; we don’t own the Earth. I liked it but expect a dark undertone.
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Kinda dark for a children's book. It might be one of those children's books that is actually for adults because kids would kick out way before it was finished. Or if they are like my nephew, they'd just try to eat the pages. ...more
A fable of greed and the over powering need of it. Surprise ending-kudos to the author/illustrator.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about Fausto who always wanted more and more, nothing was ever enough. And then he met the sea and tried to claim her too. But Fausto cannot swim and so meets his end. A perfect story for the Christmas shopping orgy reminding us that enough is enough and more will not make us happier. The art is fantastic and I may have clapped my hands with glee when Fausto sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Remember Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree? There was a book you either loved or hated. Was the tree a model of maternal love, or was it an enabling doormat taken advantage of by the selfish boy?
In Oliver Jeffer's brilliant The Fate of Fausto, there's no room for that kind of discussion. The story is like a Greek tragedy in its simplicity and moral power - and yet it has wonderfully funny moments.
Fausto getting angry and angrier each time he claims something is delineated perfectly by a storm o
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 owner
Becky B
Fausto was a man who thought he could own everything. He made flowers, sheep, and even mountains bow to his will. But will Fausto eventually learn that he can't truly own everything?

This feels like something you'd have to read for a high school or college literature course. There's a pretty deep message about humility, ownership, and life purpose. I don't think it is so dense that kids won't be able to get it though. Read this with a child to spark a conversation about values and character. And
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.
Alicia Evans
Oliver Jeffers is one of those author/illustrators that just fills me with such joy. This book is an odd length--it is too long to be a standard picture book but shorter than other juvenile fiction. However, the book is a quick read that fits the fable it professes to be. Entertaining and an interesting use of illustrations vs. text.

For: Jeffers fans; readers looking for a quick read with meaning.

Possible red flags: throwing fits; (view spoiler)
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. ...more
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...
Amy Brydon Jones
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A peculiar tale of a man who wants everything and ends up with nothing. I think there are a lot of messages and lessons that could be taken from this book to discuss in PSHE. Beautiful illustrations too.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, 2-5-grades
Don't be greedy! ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the simplicity, message, and artwork.
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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.


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