December 16, 2015

Anna Kövecses: One Thousand Things

This lovely book is for the youngest, it's perfect for children aged 1 to 3 who are about to build their basic vocabulary though it also could help older kids learn to read their first words. There are seven sections with different spreads showing "Things in nature", "Things that you can do" or "Things inside the house" for instance. Additionally on each spread the kids could search and find a little mouse hiding in the scene.
Personally I never get tired of looking at Anna Kövecses bold and colourful retro-modern illustrations. Her first picture book dedicated to her little daughter is a treasure as well.

Self-taught graphic designer/illustrator Anna Kövecses was born in Hungary. She's currently living in a small seaside village in Cyprus together with her family. Her previous clients include the BBC, The New York Times, and Monocle Magazine.

For me "One Thousand Things" is one of the most beautiful books published in 2015. Here it goes to the German edition.

November 30, 2015

Nadav Weisman: The Morning Walk

Mail from Israel! Which came together with some additional information in English ... fortunately, because this book is in Hebrew (and told from right to left). The words are originally by A. A. Milne and translated by Jacob Orland. Milne is best known for his famous "Winnie-the-Pooh" series whose two parts were first published in 1926 and 1928. Also in the 1920ies Milne wrote two books with little poems for his son ("When We Were Young" and "Now We Are Six"). Nadav Weisman chose ten of them for his personal project, a children's poetry book. His light and charming illustrations in pastel colours reflect Milne's vivid poems so nicely. Read the poems and look at the drawings!

The Morning Walk
When Anne and I go out a walk,
We hold each other's hand and talk
Of all the things we mean to do
When Anne and I are forty-two.
When Anne and I go out a walk,
We hold each other's hand and talk
Of all the things we mean to do
When Anne and I are forty-two.

Wind On The Hill
No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

John had great big waterproof boots on;
John had a great big waterproof hat;
John had a great big waterproof mackintosh —
And that (said John) is that.

In Hebrew Milne's poems were published in the 1950ies. Nadav intended to take up the style of that time with a nostalgic setting and candy colour palette by using colour pencils for his fine strokes and airy shapes.

The reduced colour palette and the "costumes" are aimed to reflect a nostalgic atmosphere inspired by the 1950s and 1960s. - See more at:
I wrote about one of Nadav's books before here!

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".