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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Age Range: 6-8
This stunning book explores the cycle of the seasons and the passage of time. The award-winning French comics artist and illustrator Blexbolex has created a series of pictures through objects, places and actions that reveals a world that is both permanent and ever-changing.
The illustrated vignettes show a burst of colour that signifies spring and new life; a bright blue sky for summer; vibrant shades of red for autumn and large white spaces show a winter scene. There are pages of everyday things from a bud, holly and a watermelon to a T-Shirt shown with pink arms that reach out into the white background of a white page.
Then there are the more complex concepts; ‘Profusion’ is depicted as a tree full of pink blossom and bees against a bright blue background while ‘Fragrance’ is a multiple colourful mass of leaves and flowers and a ‘Forest Fire’ shows vivid red and orange flames against the blackened trees with animals running for safety. Then there are images that represent different emotions from ‘Worry’, ‘Pleasure’, ‘Sadness’ and ‘Exuberance’, or there are pictures encompassing ‘Silence’ or ‘Disaster’. Action pictures show a traffic jam, an avalanche, carnival or the amusing one entitled ‘Insect bites’.
Blexbolex’s distinctive minimalist graphic style of artwork is reminiscent of the children’s book illustrations of the 1960s but also has a contemporary feel at the same time. Each matte image in soft pastel colours is paired with a single word in large, red text. Together with the hardcover, with its linen spine, this is a sophisticated book that can be pored over again and again as the associations within it are not always immediately obvious.
Seasons is a perfect learning tool for very young children as there is so much to discover throughout the pages, but the expressive illustrations will also excite older children and adults too, particularly those interested in art and design. The images and concepts invite reflection and discussion and can be used as an inspiration in the classroom.