October 4, 2016

My, What Beautiful Books You Have...

The tale of Red Cap has always been a favorite of mine. Like many fairy tales it's very dark, but the eeriness of the situation -- a girl being seduced by a wolf -- leaves a lot of room for visual interpretation.
Little Red Riding Hood
Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

Daniel Egnéus' interpretation of the tale is quite possibly the most beautiful I've seen. The gentle mix of watercolor, ink, and collage allows Egnéus to explore light and dark in his Little Red Riding Hood, as well as foreground and background images. The text is beautifully incorporated into the illustrations so that we get a sense we're completely enveloped by this story. It's a more abstract type of illustration so we rely more heavily on the colors Egnéus uses to better understand the tone of each image.

Little Red Riding Hood
Illustrated by Sybille Schenker

The intricate paper cutouts of Sybille Schenker's Little Red Riding Hood will send chills down your spine. They're just incredible. Every piece of the illustrations becomes important, from what we can see through the cutouts to the shadows to what we see on the other side of each cutout. The book is just absolutely flawless.

Un Petit Chaperon Rouge
Illustrated by Marjolaine Leray

Marjolaine Leray's Un Petit Chaperon Rouge is a small book with a large presence. The tone of this book is much lighter as Little Red which definitely partly stems from the looseness of the illustrations. Leray uses only black and red colored pencils to create her illustrations, which gives them a levity we don't often see in such a dark story. And the ending is hilarious!

Ed Young's Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China is one of the first versions of the tale that opened my eyes to the illustration potential for this well-known tale. The watercolor images give the illustrations a lack of clarity, fogging up the space to give us the sensation that we're not seeing the whole situation.

Little Red Riding Hood
Illustrated by Clémentine Sourdias

There's no way to talk about "Little Red Riding Hood" without putting Clémentine Sourdais' leporello Little Red Riding Hood on the list. The leporello consists of cut-out cardstock so that readers can flash a light through the pages and cast shadows on the walls. It's absolutely stunning.

Red Riding Hood: A Pop-Up Book
Illustrated by Louise Rowe

Louise Rowe's adaptation Red Riding Hood: A Pop-Up Book uses pop-ups clearly and sparsely so that every piece of every image conveys the tone of the story. Rowe sticks to a limited color palette, and she cleverly uses the negative space to enhance the sense of isolation.

Little Red
Illustrated by Bethan Woollvin

Bethan Woollvin's Little Red is such a fantastic retelling of the story not just because the illustrations are fantastic, but also because the events of the story take a slightly different turn than usual. Woollvin's interpretation is bold and beautiful, using only three colors--red, white, and black--to highlight the events of the story. It's such a fun read in every way.