June 23, 2014

Illustrator Spotlight: Émilie Vast

I figure since I haven't done a lot of illustrator-specific posts lately so you get two in a row!

Émilie Vast is a French author/illustrator whose books I came across accidentally a few months ago (for the record, between getting the books in my hands and writing about them, almost everything takes at least 2-3 months. Insane, right??). Her work is clean, colorful, and very interactive, beckoning readers to really set aside time to read and play with his books. I currently own two, and French translation aside, I still read them half a dozen times to catch all the details. You can see her site here to check out her full list of picturebooks, but today we're chatting about Océan le noir et les couleurs (Ocean Black and Color) and Il était un arbre (There Was a Tree).

Océan le noir et les couleurs is a sort of concept book that teaches colors and days of the week, but the visuals of the book almost make you forget that you're supposed to be learning something. A seahorse moves around the ocean picking up small pearls of varying color every day of the week. The book compliments his previous children's book Neige le blanc et les couleurs (Snow White and Color), but in the essence of full disclosure I have not yet had the pleasure of reading the companion. Definitely on my to-buy list though! Take a look at these spreads:

Il était un arbre is actually the book that brought my attention to Vast. With cut outs that let people look into the lives of animals and see how they live, it becomes a fascinating exploration of animal nature. Each spread of an animal with the tree is complimented with a subsequent spread that shows the animal using what it got from the tree (ie how the deer or birds use the tree to build their homes and eat). SUCH a lovely book:

That's it for this week! Tune in next week for when we talk about...more picturebooks!

Vastly yours,


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