November 19, 2017


Rarely have I laughed so hard as I did when I read Jean Gourounas' Something's Fishy. The essential premise is that a penguin is found fishing in the ice, but as more and more animals gather around the stoic penguin, confusion grows over why they're all there in the first place.

The book's text is executed entirely in dialogue alone. Animals gradually join the party, asking what the penguin is doing, and this very targeted style leaves a lot of interpretation up to the illustrations: body language is just as important to absorbing the humor as the dialogue is. And, of course, being entirely comprised of dialogue allows the book to be read in way too many funny voices.

The texture of the paper is also fantastic, almost like it's construction paper, and it's easy to see where the pages were sewn together. Combined, these give the book a nice tactile advantage and a more personal feel since the book seems less polished and more "come as you are" (which is a perfect parallel to the humor in the story). The illustrations were created by hand and then painted digitally, and the limited color palette –– browns, light blues, and black and white –– enhances the crispness of the illustration design. 

Something's Fishy published from Phaidon Press earlier this year!

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