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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)
My Pictures After the Storm
by Eric Veille
Age Range: Under_5
This quirky and witty picture book from French author and illustrator Eric Veillé, translated from French by Daniel Hahn, is packed with clever wordplay that take the ‘before’ and ‘after’ concept to some unexpected places.
With some delightful tongue-in-cheek humour, the individual vignettes show how a pleasant day at the beach can turn into chaos after a storm: – a boy ready to enjoy his ice-cream soon finds it splat on the floor while another boy on a boat loses the towel wrapped around his waist and when he next appears he’s covering his modesty and the wording underneath reads ‘boy in the nip’. A child paints different coloured shapes with a second boy intent on mischief; the ‘after’ page depicts spilled paint with the words ‘after a practical joke’.
There are many others: What happens to a cake after an elephant passes by or a lion after the storm? One double-page spread will keep children guessing. Each item is described incorrectly on the first page and correctly on the second. While on another there are some funny spellings of fruit and vegetables representing someone with a cold – ‘badada’ is ‘banana’, ‘dobado’ is ‘potato’ and ‘lebod’ is ‘lemon’.
Veille’s eye-catching fluorescent coloured illustrations and the unexpected comparisons of ‘before’ and ‘after’ are really great fun and are sure to have young children giggling (and adults too).