by Blexbolex

Ballad, is a story. It is also a narrative song, and like all great stories, it deepens with each retelling.See more details below

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Ballad, is a story. It is also a narrative song, and like all great stories, it deepens with each retelling.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/14/2013
Blexbolex's previous children's books, Seasons and People, toyed with subtle hints of narrative amid their portraits of flora, fauna, and humans; the French artist pushes further into narrative experimentation with this small-format adventure that grows in complexity and strangeness as it progresses. Once again, Blexbolex's angular, vintage-flavored silkscreen illustrations are paired with brief descriptions. Unfolding in just a few pages, the first story segment suggests a mundane school day: "The school, the road, home," reads a tidy cursive font below a sequence of three illustrations. In the second segment, the unseen narrator notices more of the landscape ("The school, the street, the forest, home"). Strange occurrences quickly mount—a pipe-smoking "stranger" arrives, foxlike "bandits" lurk, and a blue "witch" threatens. From there, the book becomes a wild journey involving an upside-down curse (it even affects the text), a kidnapping, a captive elf, the summoning of demons, and more; at one point, the text vanishes, requiring readers to grab hold of the storytelling reins. As a story, it's challenging, mysterious, and even obscure. As an object and a piece of bookmaking, it's a work of art. Ages 8–up. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of 2013

"As a story, it's challenging, mysterious, and even obscure. As an object and a piece of bookmaking, it's a work of art." — Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"This book is unlike anything I've ever seen before...It's a puzzle, a fairy tale, an adventure, a love story, made with words and pictures used in a new, utterly beguiling way. The silk-screened images, made with unbelievable fluorescent ink, will draw you in and will leave you breathless till the end."—Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Brainpickings' Top 13 Children's, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013

Kirkus Reviews
Pictured in a long spate of silkscreen tableaux bound up in a small, bricklike volume, a bored child's daydream zigzags its way into an increasingly wild fantasy adventure. Printed (seemingly) on rough denim, the grainy, stylized scenes are designed to be understood at a glance and paged through quickly. Staid opening images of a school, a road and a house are transformed by both increasing detail and the appearances of new characters. These range from a pair of bandits and a witch to a duster-wearing stranger, police officers, soldiers, a dragon and others. Even as both characters and visual complexity multiply, readers are further shaken up by scenery occasionally being turned upside down and later sideways. Ultimately, the stranger becomes a protagonist who escapes various dangers, discovers treasure and rescues a princess from a sorcerer. With her, he defeats the witch amid bolts of spell-cast lightning…and comes home at last. Aside from allusive chapter heads—"A hero is revealed. During a long and perilous journey several scores are settled. In the forest, night itself is an enchantress"—the narrative is entirely composed of one- or two-word identifiers beneath each picture that are strung into sequences ("The school, / the road, / home") while, occasionally, themselves turning upside down or even vanishing in part: "the ." Despite an unconventional presentation and dizzying twists, the tale ends up on a classic course. The delicious temptation to take an active role in the surreal adventure by adding details or even whole subplots will be hard to resist. (Picture book. 6-9)

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Product Details

Enchanted Lion Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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