The astonishingly lovely ‘Imaginary Fred’ from Eoin Colfer & Oliver Jeffers

Any conversation about children’s books is going to feature a couple of names at some point.
Oliver Jeffers. One of the very best picture book authors/Illustrators in the whole widest world. We have a complete library, and my book-absorbing 8yr old STILL regularly revisits the astonishingly beautiful ‘Stuck’ and ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ on a regular basis.

And Eoin Colfer – the man who gave the world Artemis Fowl. Quite simply one of the best series of books for young people/juniors/teens/grown-ups ever. Also happens to be one of the hardest to describe and still sound interesting… (Science Fiction Fantasy about a kind of tech-geeky fairy underworld and a teenager who is a master criminal but emotional gold inside? Yes, I’d probably have passed too…)

But a brand new book launched today has had me squeaking all over the place with excitement.

IF-610x320-3 (Little Stuff)
It’s only the two of them. TOGETHER. Eoin Colfer wrote Imaginary Fred – and Oliver Jeffers has illustrated it.

Imaginary Fred. Oh me oh my, the joy and delight!

I couldn’t wait to read it, my expectations were high as I opened the first page… and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s subtle, clever, deliciously gentle and heartfelt… and leaves you with a smile as you turn back to the first page to read it again. The illustrations are typically quirky and detailed, gorgeously rounding out the story and making the book a wonderful, wonderful read.

The story is one of an imaginary friend – Fred – who floats like a feather as he waits for a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, to enable him to appear to a lonely child who needs him. But it’s a sad fact that imaginary friends get left behind, and fade back to floating like feathers to wait for their next friend to need them for a while.
All Fred wants is a special forever-friendship to keep for himself.
It’s gorgeous – and as well as being a comforting read for any child with an imaginary friend, there’s a deeper message that applies just as much to relationships with favourite toys and modern child friendships built over the internet, as well as ‘real life’ friends too.


Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. Mine wasn’t a friend, she was called Witchy, and she used to grab my toes when I was in bed. I also had Judgey, Chewy & Chummy. No idea who they were or what they looked like!

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  2. I had 2 imaginary friends, they were called Ponge and Pogwog (I/my parents have no idea where the names came from-this was over 35 years ago). I don’t remember knowing what they looked like but I used to play schools and mummies & daddies with them. I did used to talk to them (probably better than being bossed around by my older sister!!) ? Xx

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  3. My imaginary friend is called Susie, she listens to my worries and is very pretty

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  4. Happy Harriet – she told me jokes and wore silly clothes

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  5. Dave, he uses mine and my husbands joint account to buy shoes and handbags, and loves opening wine!!

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  6. My imaginary friend is called Brian and he leaves dirty mugs on the kitchen counters

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  7. i imagined that my teddy was real. he kept my belonging safe and told me if someone had been snooping

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  8. My imaginary friend was called Gary and he liked to eat chocolate on toast for breakfast and go skipping in the woods

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  9. I really can’t remember what I called her, but my imaginary friend was very naughty and I used to blame her for making me do naughty things. She was younger than me but liked everything I did.

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  10. My imaginary friends used to live in our outdoor shed- would always blame’jemima’for making me late or come home covered in mud??wish she was still here…..????

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