March 28, 2019

MY ISLAND

My Island by Stéphanie Demasse-Pottier and Seng Soun Ratanavanh invites readers to an island where flowers bloom all year round and people can eat clouds straight from the sky.


A young girl explores a bright, magical island that she develops from her imagination. As she moves about the island, she picnics with the animals, plays the flute for an animal dance party, and maintains a garden of flowers all year round (despite the snow). She offers to let the reader join her, so long as they have an imagination and an eagerness to explore.


The illustrations are made from watercolor and colored pencil, but if you look closely you'll see what looks like a red thread weaving in and out of the illustrations. It's a real thread! The amount of care put into every detail of the spreads is impressive, with heavy, layered patterning and small, delicate details like petals and fur. Ratanavanh uses the white space to make her patterns and details pop, so while some spaces might seem overly crowded, there's a literal lightness to them that gives readers breathing room to take everything in. 


My Island publishes this coming Tuesday, April 2, from Princeton Architectural Press.



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