Sunday, January 2, 2011

Last Things First, or: Buying Books in Rome!

Jim and I have the great good fortune to like and dislike almost all the same things and people. This, I think, is one of the chief ingredients for a happy marriage: dislike all the same people, snerk snerk! But seriously, this is a blessing, and one of the loves we share is: European illustrators! It is not easy to come by these illustrators in the US; sensibilities differ. Most of these books don't ever make it to the American market, boo hoo. So when we get a chance to stockpile, we seize it. The last thing we did in Rome before heading home was to hit Feltrinelli's and add some serious heft to our carry-on luggage!

(We also made a little journey to a comic book store called Galactus, where Jim found some European graphic novels he will probably blog about soon.)

I want to show you our shwag. All of these picture book illustrators (mostly French) are new to me, and I am in love with them all. LOVE.

The first one is Aurelia Fronty. No link included because I can't track down a website or blog for her, tant pis. Oh well. We got two books by her: Tristano e Isotta, and the green one which reads Filo di Fate. I assume these were originally French publications; these are the Italian versions. Look how whimsical and folksy, vibrant and fun. 

How great for children's wall art, don't you think?

{more after the cut, look on!}

Next up is Rebecca Dautremer, who  does have a website, and who may be my new favorite illustrator. Holy. We got four of her books, each lovelier than the last.

I love this next page. Those crazy red spokey wheels, and the cropping of the figures? Lady's got style. Also, I want that baby carriage!

In mad love with this page too. The flowers in the bath water? Yes please.

Here is a little bit about Dautremer, a sad little (and no bio on her website either), which mentions -- glee! -- that she has worked on a film, which I now must track down.

Next, meet Beatrice Alemagna, who is from Italy. Her styles vary wildly, as you'll see from these two books. The first, Short Story of a Raindrop, is pretty but mostly abstract -- not a style that usually appeals to me in a children's book. 

In fact, I don't think I would buy this for a child -- pretty but ... hard to follow the story ...

but there are a few pages in it that I love as art, possibly as wall art. Not that I want to dissect this beautiful book, but I just want these on the wall, the first one especially:

This one, A Lion in Paris, is different and so charming. Look at this adorable lion making his way around Paris

 Here are a few pieces from her website:


 Well, there are more books, but it strikes me that this post is getting awfully long. And it's my first real post on my new blog! I've been having so much fun playing with the upgraded blogger editor. If you haven't yet switched from "old editor" to "updated editor," for heaven's sake, do it. I didn't even know, and would never have known how outmoded I was if I hadn't started snooping into how to post photos larger. That is only one of the things you can do with the awesome updated editor. Yippee, big luscious art! (Look in Settings/Global Settings/Select Post Editor.)

Here is Jim's stack of graphic novels; I'll link over if he posts about them.

And here are Jim and Clementine at Galactus, making friends. Small, plastic friends.

And on the subject of books and Italy, I found I was quite taken with Italian cover sensibility. I didn't have time to really examine them (while shopping, I was always wrangling a certain Clementine Pie), but here are some quick shots. I really love this first one:

That is all. To bed soon. Toddler jet lag continues here, which means we must sleep when we can, because we will surely be up in the middle of the night -- which is kind of fun when there are pancakes involved (Friday, 2 am), less fun without (last night). Sigh. There are consequences to dragging young children across time zones, alas. It took Clementine about four days to adjust going in the opposite direction, but there was residual sleep wonkiness for days after that. Hope this will be better. It's much easier to cope with when one is at home, at any rate.

Hope you like the art! Back soon with travel stories, and plenty more photos!



andalucy said...

Happy New Year and congratulations on the new blog! It looks great!

I'm in Rome right now and I see that Feltrinelli's is near my hotel. Bliss! I'll definitely be checking it out before I go back.

Ina said...

Those books are gorgeous! I must admit that I often buy UK versions of books if possible, just because I find the covers more tasteful. One of my favorite picture book writers is Oliver Jeffers, who also illustrates his own books. His style is wonderfully whimsical and adorable. If you get a chance, I'd recommend you check him out!

tone almhjell said...

Woohooo, how pretty! I LOVE your new blog! Must make one, too. I love the picture books. How does Clementine react to them? Does she love them?

tone almhjell said...

(There was a lot of love in tht last comment, yet no mention of Clementine in that cream knit. Another one is called for. Love.)

--jenna said...

Oh goodness. My husband isn't going to like this at all! All those extra book weight pounds that are on the to-do list for our trip to Italy this year...


Thanks for the massive post--LOVED the Dautremer and Fonty pictures. Luscious.

Kerryn Angell said...

Happy New Year! I always love the eye candy on your blog. :) And thanks for the tip about the updated editor on blogger. I was still on the old one, too.

Evie said...

Rebecca Dautremer's illustrations are gorgeous. Love them. Jim's book, Frezzato, looks pretty cool.

Love the new blog, but then I loved the old one, as well. Totally understand wanting something new.

mel said...

wow -- i so love those different from what we see here...

love the new look!

Tinker said...

Beautiful illustrations - such lovely concepts too...A bathtub filled with roses, a lion in Paris (typing that made me think of "An American in Paris"). I think there might be more of a market here for such books, than American publishers credit (or maybe that's just my own wishful thinking).

p.s. Happy blogwarming! Love the new look, especially the bigger picture format.

Catherine Denton said...

Ooooooh! **looks around** It's really nice in here--so roomy! I'm gonna have to try the updated editor. Sorry, **wipes saliva off the new blog** but your books are making me drool.

Anonymous said...

I almost got you one of those books when I was in France Fatty!!!!! What is this? First the pharmacy cabinets, then this, and remember your pattern of buying birthday books? Pics are awesome! I'll be taking a copy of one of those, thank you very moch. I've missed your blog. One day I bet Clementine will have her own blog but right now I'm just enjoying her tiny non-bloggy perfectness.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi all!

Andalucy, I hope you had fun at Feltrinelli's! Do they have good picture books in Spain?

Ina, I have seen Oliver Jeffers books. Very lovely. I think there's one very sad about an empty chair or something like that? About the death of a parent. I couldn't handle that one.

Tone, yes I love that sweater! Baby Gap, the boy's section. All the girl sweaters were all girly :-)

Jenna, just save the book shopping for the end and pack an extra carry-on. We didn't have to pay a thing!

Kerryn, yeah, the new editor is awesome in so many ways. Have you tried it yet?

Laini Taylor said...

Evie, yeah that Frezzato book is awesome too. I actually picked that one out -- it's maybe more *my* style than Jim's.

Mel, thanks!

Tinker, I don't know. It's hard to say how those books would sell here. I'm skeptical that the American public in general would ever share my taste -- just judging by what books and TV shows are popular here. I do think there would be a market, but enough of one? Who knows.

Catherine, *offers hankie* :-) hee hee

FT, how funny, which book?

Kayla said...

what amazing, gorgeous art! i am still in awe of the just the illustrations in those children's books. definite wall art material!

This is getting up. said...

Have you ever read Joann Sfar? If not, start with Klezmer... and the Rabbi's Cat is to die for.

Laini Taylor said...

*This is getting up.* Yes, I LOVE Joann Sfar, especially The Rabbi's Cat. I have quoted it here before :-) Genius.

Kristin Rae said...

ah! next time I go to Rome I'm definitely bringing books back. That's a big regret of mine. There were SO many cute children's books, but we don't have any kids yet so I skipped out. *smacks head* I could have just gotten them for me.

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