Marie Desplechin and Emmanuelle Houdart’s Saltimbanques (Thierry Magnier) commended by the jury of the Bologna Ragazzi Award for the Bologna Children’s book fair (which starts on Monday next week):
What the jury said
From the Surrealists to Federico Fellini, the figure of the circus acrobat has asserted itself as part of a special “ars poetica” wherever beauty and plasticity of form lend themselves to flights of true fancy. Though part of our world, these acrobats seem to lead us into another Alice-in-Wonderland world, half dream, half fiction where delight and mystery reign. The skilful ensemble of signs that come together in every plate weave an intriguing narrative. Even the most critical, knowledgeable eye stands in awe before the ability to invent a universe where the acrobat’s physical body becomes spectacle, illusion, document and repertory. As the book moves forward, the figures take on new definitions. Each is a theatrical spectacle in and of itself, every costume a topographical map, every facial expression demanding he reader’s complicity. A truly remarkable book that does honour to illustration and publishing.