After finishing the picture book, The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable by Oliver Jeffers, my thought was that this is not really for the picture book crowd. It is a very deep, impassioned story about a man who had everything but wanted more. He wants to own everything. And when he finds something that he could not have (a tree, mountain, the ocean), he would force that something to become owned by him. When he tries it with the ocean, you can imagine the disastrous results.
However, I think if you explain the story to the older child, they will appreciate the message. Yet, I wonder if they may not pick up the theme of greed and consequences right away. And most definitely this is in the signature writing style of Jeffers. Plus, there is no question he is also the illustrator. If you are not familiar with his work as an artist, the first exposure can be brash. You are hit was an almost child-like abstractness. Yet, everything is solid.
This is another book you experience on your own level. Your own biases and experiences will shape any connection you will have. My first thought was that it was a horrible story. Only a dumb person forcing things to be owned. Yet, there is something endearing about it. Even if the illustrations (and text) are visually colorfully smooth, there are some figurative waves that cause it not to be pleasant. I do not think you will walk away saying, “Oh what a sweet book! It is just so happy and cozy and sugar plums and fairies.”
If anything, this is an almost dark story that should be a coffee table picture book. It is a book you could use in an older classroom or in a high school or college class. It is a gift to give to an adult who likes not traditional artwork. But it is not going to be an easy subject or reading.
(all images from Google)