Monday, 3 June 2019

"My Island" by Stephanie Demasse-Pottier and Seng Soun Ratanavanh (Princeton Architectural Press)

Children's imaginations are boundless, seemingly endless, not tied down by the mundane everyday world that we adults find ourselves often ground down by.

So it's always something rather special to dip into a book that accurately portrays what it's like to be a child again, and have your own imagined world to play in.

"My Island" by Stephanie Demasse-Pottier and Seng Soun Ratanavanh may not be breaking any new ground in terms of theme, after all we've seen a huge number of picture books that deal with the subject of a child's imagination.

But we've seen seldom few that are as stylishly and brilliantly produced as this one.

For me, it harks back to picture books I remember as a child, and a specific style of art that you saw an awful lot of in the 70s (that I'd probably, as an adult, describe as being like a voyage to trip-out city!)

Such delightful little characters in this utterly charming book

For C it's all about the details, and in Seng-Soun's illustrations you'll find amazing details, unexpected objects and animals, plants and people turning up in abundance as the little girl at the core of the tale lets her imagination run wild.

Imagine having an island you could construct and populate with your mind. Wow. 
It's lyrical and poetic stuff, with those illustrations really underpinning the story of what it's like to have that child-like wonder, that fills your world with endless possibilities every single day.

The most amazing tea party since Alice and the Mad Hatter dunked a dormouse in a teapot

Never lose that folks, cling to it for as long as you can.

Sum this book up in a sentence: A day-dreamy and glorious celebration of the imagination of a child, depicted with easy text and glorious illustrations.

"My Island" by Stephanie Demasse-Pottier and Seng Soun Ratanavanh is out now, published by Princeton Architectural Press (kindly supplied for review).