November 09, 2015

Catarina Sobral: A Casa Que Voou

One more by Catarina Sobral: "A Casa Que Voou" is her newest book together with author Davide Cali. It has been published recently by Bruaá in Portuguese. Its charming, subtle story is about a house that flew away one day and a man, the owner of the house, who wandered from the fire department via the police to the civil aviation department searching for help and finally arrived at the countryside. There his house has found its new place. "I never thought it could be nice to have a country house", the man said at the end when he took the key to go inside. All pictures are drawn with crayons and pencil. The colour range is limited to red, blue, yellow and grey. What I like most about this book beside of the limited colour range is that browsing it almost feels like scrolling through original drawings, almost as if the pencil could rub off.

Take a look here and here as well!

November 03, 2015

Carmen Chica / Manuel Marsol: O Tempo Do Gigante

Today I read in the publisher's newsletter that "O Tempo Do Gigante" has been awarded at the Comic Festival Amadora BD in the category Best Children's Book Illustration! I have to admit I was a bit sceptical when I first saw the cover and booktrailer. I couldn't classify the book's style. But the deeper I delve into it the more I loved it. "The Giant's Time" is a very poetic and atmospheric picturebook. It's about the passage of time, about memory and the little things that happen around us without us noticing it. Kids might miss the storyline. The text says again and again that nothing happens. That's not exactly what children want to hear ... Nonetheless this book draws the reader under its spell by its sensitive illustrations and slow pace. Look at the clouds, the growing tree on the giant's head and the little details together with the different angles the giant is shown up close and in the distance! Just brilliant.

Manuel Marsol's illustrations have also been awarded by the Iberoamerican Catalogue of Illustration. More about the Spanish illustrator here and here. "O Tempo Do Gigante" is his second picture book. It has been published by Portuguese publishing house Orfeu Negro in July. Take a look at their catalogue with some of the finest illustrators worldwide.

Here Manuel Marsol talks about the creation of his great debut "Ahab y la Ballena Blanca" (published by Edelvives in Spanish, in Portuguese by Orfeu Negro in 2016).

October 16, 2015

Catarina Sobral: Aschimpa

Two beautiful children's books landed in my postbox last week both illustrated by Catarina Sobral. The first one I want to show you is "Aschimpa" ("Achimpa" in Portuguese) which has been published first in 2012 by Orfeu Negro. Now it's finally available in German thanks to Knesebeck. As with all children's books I did a test with my youngest. And it's one of those read-it-again-Mum books, which means he likes it a lot. The story starts with the discovery of the ancient, long forgotten word "Aschimpa". Once discovered the word spread like a wildfire, everyone started to use it, first as a verb, then as an adjective, and finally as a Perlinzium, another word no one knew what it was good for... So there is a lot of puzzling and fun playing with words inside. Sobral's illustrations are bold and very charming with a lot of unique characters and details to detect. Take a look here for another award-winning picture book by Catarina Sobral.

Here's the wonderful book trailer by Catarina Sobral:

June 17, 2015

Gérard Lo Monaco: Die kleine Welt aus Papier

"This is the best book in the world!" That's what my 4 year old said when he looked at Die kleine Welt aus Papier today. So Gérard Lo Monaco seems to have done everything right with this pop-up book. It is indeed very special and a great pleasure to explore. Browsing this book feels a bit like opening a toy box. Inside you'll find old-style toys like a red fire truck or a sailing ship. Each page is given a storyline "spoken" by a young child. So there is a lot of "Tuff, tuff, tuff!" when the tractor passes by and the elephant comes along with some "Stomp, stomp!". At the end all toys are scattered across the room and the child says goodnight promising to pick them up the next day ... The French original (Le Livre des Jouets de Papier) has been published by hélium in 2014, the German edition followed this year published by Gestalten. Watch out for their English version here!

Gérard Lo Monaco is an Argentinian illustrator, art director, and paper engineer living in Paris. In his newest book he converted Sonia Delauney's paintings into paper pop-up illustrations. Take a look!

Video by Silvia Pat

May 21, 2015

Britta Teckentrup: Alle Wetter

I planned to make a blogpost about one of Britta Teckentrup's many beautiful books for a long while now. When I saw her new book published by Jacoby & Stuart I knew this one I'll have to show you. "Alle Wetter" is a very special non-fiction picture book about weather phenomenons. With 160 pages there is a lot of weather inside: thunderstorms and cloudbursts, summerrains, mist and hailstorms, the book shows and explains the weather by night and day, all year round. It is not a typical children's book and it looks more like a thick exhibition catalogue with carefully selected paintings by the artist. As Britta Teckentrup says in the preface this book owes a lot to Tizian, Turner, C. D. Friedrich, Monet, van Gogh, Hockney. The text is perfect to read out for (pre)school kids and the atmospheric paintings are a pleasure to watch for adults and kids alike.

Britta Teckentrup studied illustration and fine arts in London. After 17 years in the UK she returned to Germany to live and work in Berlin with her family. Visit her website to explore her many other books which have been published in over 20 different countries ... I especially like her "24-Stunden-Wimmelbücher".

April 22, 2015

Die KinderTSeitung

The Kindertseitung (children's paper) is a non-profit project by German graphic designer Daria Holme and in its fifth year now. You find the Tseitung in selected stores or you can order it online. It is not sold for little money at the supermarket and it is not as colourful as the common children's magazines. What you get are 52 pages full of creative ideas. The Kindertseitung is self-published twice a year, it comes with a colouring poster, sticker or booklet and without any advertising. Each issue is dedicated to a special theme like Water, Alphabet, Red, Night, Danger etc. and each spread is designed by a different artist, graphic designer, photographer or illustrator, all of whom don't get any money for their contributions. The theme of the next issue is always published online in advance, so anyone can send in a contribution proposal!

 All images: Die Kindertseitung

Read the interview with Daria Holme at Frozenbanana. All the artists are listed here, among them Jan von Holleben, Mirthe Blussé, Julia Schenk, Mareike Engelke (to name a few ...). To order the Kindertseitung click here!

April 09, 2015

Fani Marceau / Joelle Jolivet: Wo bist du?

"Wo bist du?" has originally been published in French by helium in 2012 ("Dans le livre"), in 2014 in English by Chronicle Books ("In this Book") and finally in German by Aladin last month. This picture book tells not a single story, instead the short repetitive lines under each picture invite to all kinds of stories, always answering to the question "Where are you?" - "I'm in the tunnel, said the train. I'm in the apricot, said the pit. I'm in the forest, said the wolf." Children always want to know about their place in the world, don't they? So this book is a good starter to show them how even the tiniest thing has its place in a larger world. The last page features a dad with his son - and there is the answer: "And me (where I am?), I am in your arms". With 67 answers there is a lot to discover and it's not boring at all to look at the wonderful drawings by Joelle Jolivet. My 4 year old told me his favourite pages: the one with the spider, the tiger and the plane. Good taste, son.

Fani Marceau and Joelle Jolivet worked together as well at "Bei Tag und bei Nacht" (Vues d'ici). I'm also a huge fan of Joelle Jolivet's pinguins books (together with Jean-Luc Fromental).