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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)
by Alcides Villaca
Age Range: 6-8
“To not be seen at home …
To not be seen at school,
not on the street, not anywhere …
The young boy in this story is a master in the art of being invisible, and the reader is invited to join him as he indulges in this very 'special' talent. There are all sorts of things you can do when you are invisible such as listening to other people’s conversations, letting a plate drop or blowing in a cat’s face. It also might be fun to erase the chalk as the teacher writes a lesson on the board, snatch the sausage from the bun that someone else is just about to eat or even kiss a girl on the cheek you are rather keen on! But the protagonist also wonders if the magic will one day go away and whether he might become bored and tired of not being seen. Perhaps it might turn out not to be that much fun after all.
Brazilian poet Alcides Villaça wrote this amusing poem, translated from the Portuguese by Flávia Rocha, in collaboration with Endi Bogue Hartigan, as an ode to his favourite childhood superpower, invisibility. It draws on the imagination of a child and explores what it would be like to be completely invisible.
The playful text is amazingly brought to life by Chilean illustrator and graphic artist Andrés Sandoval, who lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Sandoval works with a pallet of predominantly two main colours – red/pink and green which provide varying shades throughout the artwork. The design cleverly uses red acetate between each page to create the ‘invisible’ effects which add another layer to the poem encouraging the reader to find the many hidden meanings within.
The Invisible is a stylish and sophisticated multi-layered picture book that can be looked at again and again.