July 22, 2014

B.ü.L.b Comix: 2wBOX Set Z

I'm a bit late on this. The independent publisher B.ü.L.b Comix has been founded in 1996 in Geneva by Nicolas Robel joined by Mathieu Christe and Heidi Roethlin. The first small box with mini leporellos has been published in 1997 and marked with the letter A. In 2013 with the Z box the unique series is completed now. Within sixteen years B.ü.L.b Comix presented an impressingly high quality range of more than 120 international artists as so in the last box Z, with Blexbolex experimenting with photography (surprise, surprise) and Yuichi Yokoyama playing with frames and abstraction. Nicholay Baker (aka Nicolas Robel? no, I don't believe the story of the little known author living in Tiraspol, Transnistrie) provided a zoetrope to be animated on a turntable (not approved). Famous Swedish contemporary artist Jockum Nordström (author/illustrator of e.g. "Vart ska du ga?" and the "Sailor & Pekka" books) combined pale watercolors and silhouettes to a forest scenery with humans and animals interacting with each other. The psychedelic pencil drawings by Elvis Studio aka Helge Reumann/Xavier Robel tell a story each revealing a little more with every sight.

The editorial aim of B.ü.L.b Comix is to focus on international artists, renowned ones as well as upcoming artists, in the fields of illustration, comics and contemporary art and to remain independent at any time. If someone is asking them why spending so much time and effort on folding boxes, filling them with tiny albums for over sixteen years without making financial profit (profits of the book sale are used for new projects) they answer with a quote: "We're still here, you bastards!" - against all doubts. They face the challenge and they are doing right. Such a consistency in independent publishing deserves to be supported. You can order your own box here (scroll down for the terms of purchase in English). It will be sent to you unfolded and that's where the fun begins!

July 15, 2014

Madalena Moniz: Hoje Sinto-me...

The Orfeu Mini series has been lauched in 2008. I'm very delighted to show you their newest publication "Hoje Sinto-me..." (Today I Feel) by Lisbon-based illustrator Madalena Moniz. It's a very special alphabet book about feelings from A to Z, like A for Audacious, C for Curious, P for Patient etc. Every emotion is shown on a separate page. I'm really liking Madalena's watercolor and ink paintings. They are so full of ideas and very poetic. My favourite is the "Forte" one on the bottom.

Orfeu Negro has already released an impressive number of picture books in Portuguese by well-known authors/illustrators like Jon Klassen, Joelle Jolivet, Beatrice Alemagna. Don't miss their fantastic book trailers!

July 10, 2014

Jimmy Liao: Skogens Hemligheter

Taiwanese illustrator and children book's author Jimmy Liao enjoys cult status in his homeland. His many picture books have been translated in several languages like in English, Spain or French. I'm not so much into Jimmy Liao's colourful picture books of the last years, but with this black and white one I'm really in love with. A beautifully illustrated, dreamy picture book dedicated to his daughter which describes an Alice in Wonderland-like adventure: A little girl follows a huge, furry rabbit into a large forest full of secrets... "Skogens Hemligheter" (Secrets in the Forest) was Liao's breakthrough as a children's book illustrator/author in 1998 and has now been published in Swedish by Mirando Bok.

June 27, 2014

C. Seifert / G. Sander / J. Hoersch / N. Mager: Kinder, kocht!

Do you see all the markers in the book? I could barely decide which recipe I should try first with my kids. This week we went for a farfalle salad and soufflés in teacups as dessert. I have to admit that though the book title is "Kinder, kocht!" (Kids, cook!) I did most of the cooking, because my 3yo and my 6yo are still a bit too young for the recipes, however they did a great job as assistents. They were so easy to delight and so proud of the results.

About the book: I can only commend the layout, the many ideas, the beautiful photographs, the recipes sorted by seasons - everything! "Kinder, kocht!" is in German and has been published by Swiss publishing house AT Verlag in 2013. The authors are Claudia Seifert and Gesa Sander, the photos are by Julia Hoersch and the wonderful styling is by Nelly Mager. Gesa Sander did the illustrations with so many adorable details. This book is so full of fun for kids and a great pleasure to browse for adults. Take a look!

June 12, 2014

Sandol Stoddard / Ivan Chermayeff: The Thinking Book

"Estava a pensar" (The Thinking Book) is the third of three books with illustrations by Ivan Chermayeff published by Portuguese publisher Bruaá Editora. Check out their great catalogue! It has been originally published in 1960 by Little Brown and Company and still looks so modern. More about prolific designer and illustrator Chermayeff here and here. Sandol Stoddard and Chermayeff colaborated as well on "Keep It Like A Secret".

"Estava a pensar" shows the world from the perspective of a child: from the dust particles that float and sparkle in the sun to wild animals and a giant circus. It's all about the freedom to daydream. It reminds me of an old German song: "Die Gedanken sind frei". This book is also good for adults to forget about schedules and deadlines. I could learn this from my kids... Pick up a copy here.

Bruaá Edicao e Design
Bruaá Edicao e Design
Bruaá Edicao e Design

June 05, 2014

Max, der Zahnarzt und der Fasching

Why not let the children draw their own books? This book is a really weird one in the most positive sense. The story is about a visit to the dentist, two skeletons, a dinosaur and some more monsters. I found it at the public library the other day. It's part of a creative project initiated by the nearby primary school in 2008.


Max, der Zahnarzt und der Fasching, Projekt "Stark durch Stärken", Grundschule Klenzestraße 48, 2008/2009

May 26, 2014

Karin Saler / Siri Ahmed Backström: Dom som är kvar

A wonderful new book published by Urax. It's in Swedish and I don't understand too much, but the illustrations by Siri Ahmed Backström have a very strong voice. The Swedish text is by Karin Saler. "Dom som är kvar" ("Those who are left") is a picture book about grief and how a family cope with the death of a beloved person. Every scene is very intense. A not too sentimental book that shows things as they are. Just as children's books should be.

More books by Stockholm-based illustrator Siri Ahmed Backström here.

Urax Forlag was founded by author/publisher Ellen Karlsson in 2012 and offers an exquisite range of children's book illustrators. Visit the Urax webshop and purchase your copy together with some more great classics and novelties like this one or that.

May 19, 2014

Benjamin Sommerhalder: Knigi

This book is so so good! You might know this charming ghost already from the English edition or from the publisher's website. The author/illustrator of "Knigi" is Benjamin Sommerhalder, founder of Nieves, the independent Zurich-based publishing house with a great catalogue and lots of artists' books and zines. I'm very happy to hold the new German edition in my hands and looking forward to reading it to my kids tonight. It's one of those graphically bold books with a timeless story that inspire children and adults alike. Purchase a copy here or here. The German edition has been published by Diogenes in Zurich. The English edition (published in 2011 by Nieves) is out of print unfortunately. You can try this.

The story is about a little ghost who received a book from his aunt. But the book contains only white pages. How could he enjoy this book? Knigi will reveal the secrets of the book of course and "a miraculous explosion of colors and shapes leapt out from the pages" when he finally starts reading...

April 16, 2014

Sonia Goldie / Marc Boutavant: Kleine Hausgeister

Gestalten launched a new program of delightful books for young readers called "Kleine Gestalten". I'm really pleased to receive one of their great children's books today to show you on the blog. This funny picture book is about all the ghosts who live in our homes and claim to be real ghosts, contrary to those old-school ones who live in old castles making "Boo!". The real ghosts live in our kitchen and bathroom, there is the television ghost on the sofa and the ghost in the telephone (who does not know him?), the gentle ghost behind the curtain and the thin-haired one in the attic telling old stories. These spooks are not scary, they don't use sheets and clanking chains. Indeed, they are very modern and appreciate a good party.

Children will discover a lot on the pages and probably they have met most of those ghosts already, especially the ghost of the night who isn't scary at all because he has a big smile on the face. The gorgeous illustrations and the cheeky humour are going very well together. The text is always part of the scenes and coloured, sized or angled to fit onto walls, furniture and signs in the illustrations. What a good decision to finally publish this children's book in German. "Fantomes des Maisons" has been originally published in French in 2001.

Sonia Goldie has written a couple of books published in French by Mila Editions. Marc Boutavant is one the most famous French illustrators. His children's books (Mouk, Ariol) are classics and filled with wonderful characters. Take a look here!

Enchanted Lion Books, October 2013

To buy a copy click here or here. The English edition "Ghosts" has been published by Enchanted Lion Books.