January 20, 2015

Cláudio Thebas / Violeta Lópiz: Amigos do Peito

It's one of the rare books I think it's great from the front cover to the back with every single page in-between. There are so many details to discover and the illustrations are so courageous and special. The text in Portuguese is by Cláudio Thebas, Miguel from Bruaá Editora kindly sent me the translation. So I could read the lovely poem and follow Violeta Lópiz' interpretation. Violeta's illustrations show a little boy on his way back home from school. He comes along all his friends' places and finds out at the end that they are all waiting for him at his place. The English title would be "Friends of the Heart".

On my research about the illustrator Violeta Lópiz I've read what is written about her on the publisher's website. Everything worth to know is said there brilliantly in short form:  
"Violeta Lópiz was born in Ibiza in 1980 and began to illustrate very early, with 2 years. Her most productive and creative period develops up to 6 years, when she virtually loses all her artistic skills due to a very common mental illness in children: growth. When the disease reaches its splendor she gets a job in a music school as a teacher and that’s how, after her young students inflicted some blows with the blades of the xylophone, she recovers some creative skills. She starts her delearning process at Madrid’s Art School nº 10, where she unlearns that work is something undesirable and forgets that being older is being more boring. She does her internship at El Mundo newspaper, where she restarts doodling and gradually begins to receive orders from several publishing houses that invite her to play again. Even though her condition is irreversible, her slow advances give her great satisfaction and allow her to communicate with the teachers of tender age. Her progress can be found in some bookstores, walls, streets, fairs, newspapers and thousands of notebooks that she leaves scattered around."

At the wonderful Picturebook Maker blog (TAKE A LOOK) Violeta shares the creative process of her work and shows her first sketches with felt-tip pens.

Though I couldn't read it to my kids because they understand neither Portuguese nor English they had a lot of fun searching for the little boy with the black cat who shows up on every page.

 Another great book published by Bruaá Editora: here.