August 4, 2022


Pina by Elif Yemenici is a unique story about a not-so unique feeling: social anxiety.

Pina likes to stay inside. Everything he needs is inside his home, why would he leave it? But when he runs out of cheese and tea one day, Pina has to face his greatest fear: going outside and interacting with people. Not to mention literally anything could happen to Pina if he leaves the comfort of what he knows. But his experiences outside surprise him when he realizes the world––and social interaction––isn't so scary after all.

The illustrations are digitally altered photographs of shadowbox dioramas Yemenici built by hand. Pina and his world––that is, every scene that takes place within his house––are portrayed in this shadowbox style in shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. Pina's house is warm and full of his perfect things. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the outside world is mostly digital with shades of black, gray, and white, with lots of dark shadows that blur what the readers can really see (as though we're experiencing the world through Pina's scared eyes). This makes the final spread, which blends the two styles, much more impactful in tone and message.

Pina published from Tilbury House Publishers earlier this summer!

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