World Kid Lit Challenge Day 28

Another new title in translation today: Inside the Villains by Clothilde Perrin, translated from French by Daniel Hahn (Gecko Press).

Dominic: I really like the witch. She looks like a normal person but then you open all the flaps and you find out she’s actually an evil witch. And have you seen that the wolf’s jaws open and close?

Erin (a friend – 7): I loved the pictures and looking under all the flaps and in the pockets and I liked turning the big pages the wrong way to find the “More about me” bit.  

Eloise (Erin’s mum): It’s like a pantomime in book form. There are bits for the children to laugh at but there are some bits that the adults will get on a different level. It’s so much fun!

Wow! You cannot fail to be impressed by this book, both in size and quality. This sophisticated picture book presents three infamous characters from the world of the fairy tale: the Giant, the Witch and the Wolf. The unique design has flaps to look under and strings to pull, revealing incredible, intricate details. You then fold out a page on the left-hand side to reveal a section entitled “More about me” and a story, displayed as if in  a newspaper.

There is so much to look at and read. Dominic was entertained for ages, working out what opened where and what could be pulled out. A word of caution though, the flaps are not the most robust and while it is great for teaching children to treat books with respect, it probably isn’t one for little fingers to be left alone with.

It’s also an interesting discussion to have about who picture books are aimed at. The complexity of the pictures and the register of the language suggest that this is aimed at older children. As children get older and the illustrations begin to disappear from their books, it is great to come across such an engaging book. It draws the child in and just begs to be read.

This really is a book to treasure for years to come.


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