'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 3 May 2013

Tania's Picks: Carnaval Animal and Cherche et Trouve

One of the delights of travel is the ability to explore, first hand, the rare delights of other places. And for me - no delight could bring more joy that picture books.

Alas, picture books are heavy! especially en masse, and so, on a recent trip with my family to Europe, I had to seriously limit myself with the PB acquisitions (many of which I plan to share with you right here in Tania's Picks).

In Paris, we visited one of my favourite stores - FNAC - and entered a floor of children's book heaven. There were not only local French finds, but loads of foreign titles (translated into French). Such a delight to see Freya Blackwood and Oliver Jeffers books, in particular.

So that my kids could enjoy some foreign language books, I snaffled some picture books with minimal text. I have a thing for long-format books (I know librarians hate them in terms of shelving ability!) - and I'll share two of them with you now.

The first is a pop-up picture book by Iris de Vericourt, entitled Carnaval Animal. The internal pages are split into three sections (head, body, tail) and feature a fox (renard), monkey (signe), rooster (coq), lobster (écrevisse), bear (ours) and cameleon (caméléon).

Not only are the paper pop-ups truly divine, they can, of course, be mixed up into all manner of brilliant animal creations. A bear head, lobster body and rooster tail, anyone? Just try to keep little hands away from this one.

(Carnaval Animal, Hélium, ISBN: 9782358510615)

The second book is entitled Cherche et Trouve sur les 5 continents (Seek and Find on the five continents) by Thierry Laval. Another long-format book, this fabulous creation has Richard Scarry written all over it.

Beginning with Amérique du Nord (North America), we open to a double page spread of delightful, labelled, characters and scenes. Both these pages then open out to a full four-page spread and eye-boggling scene, combining all items from the previous page and much, much more.

And here is a peek at Australia . . .

(Cherche et Trouve sur les 5 continents, Seuil, ISBN: 9782021028935)

If you can't find these titles on Australian online stores or have them ordered in by your local bookstore (always a KBR preference), you can find them on The Book Despository.