I am in love with a new book and illustrator and I wanted to share it with you! The book is called The Great Word Factory by Agnes de Lestrade and illustrated by Valeria Decampo. It was originally written in French, however when they translated it to English they changed the title to Phileas's Fortune, a story about self expression. The English title is really clunky if you ask me, however, the story and the illustrations are just as beautiful!
I found a video of the reading of the book in it's original French which you can see below. It's absolutely lovely and you must click on the link:) (I tried to embed it but it didn't work, so please click on the link, you'll love it)
I discovered her work through internet searches. Every time I see artwork that speaks to me it is almost always picture book art. Lucky me! That means there is a whole book full of this beautiful artwork! So of course I quickly research and figure out what titles the artwork belongs to and then I add them to my personal library. That's how I found Valeria Decampo's work. Her characters are sweet and whimsical and the world's she creates reminds me of something Sean Tan would imagine. I also like her selective use of color to add emphasis to the words and the work. Here are a few more images from Philea's Fortune.
It's a beautiful story about trying to find the right words to express ourselves to those we love. Sometimes it's difficult to find those words, and in Philea's world it's even harder because you have to buy every word you want to say! But in the end, the words of the heart shine through even if they aren't spoken out loud.
This book was so popular it has sold more than 120,000 copies and was translated into over 20 languages! Now that's a book you need to read. I'm not sure what took me so long to discover this lovely book and this wonderful illustrator, but now that I have you can bet I will be collecting more of her work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)