Where dream and business meet.
Today is the last day of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (Italy): a fiery for illustrators and publishers (and in general, an incredible variety of professionals linked to this environment: graphic designers, literary agents, authors, translators, mobile developers, printers, distributors…) to discover the world of illustration for children. You wouldn’t believe the complexity and beauty hidden behind this “small” world.

Today in #illusthursday we are talking about the “fiction” category winner: the picture-book “L’oiseau Blanc” (“The White Bird”), written by Alex Cousseau and illustrated by Charles Dutertre.

The book,  intended for children from 6/7 years, is inspired by the story of Charles Nungesser, French aviator who attempted in 1927 the first non-stop transatlantic crossing. But it’s also the story of a friendship between two men: the French airman and an American Indian, two characters so distant culturally and geographically as close in their dreams and aspirations; in particular, the desire to fly.

A recurrent theme in children’s literature, aviation is here given a new narrative that weaves together real events in the story of man’s attempts to fly with a poetic homage to human affinity.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair Awards

White Bird is the name of both the French’s plane and the Indian: the two storylines move in parallel, intersect, get contaminated by each other. The narration flows and capture the reader; the colourful, geometric, textured illustrations create a new visual universe made of a mixture of figuration and abstraction, reality and dream, out of time and space.

The illustrations are an arresting narrative in themselves, combining Bauhaus geometries with unexpected colour schemes and a meticulous array of textures that although reminiscent of Modernism, create their own visual universe: […] of men who meet and recognize their mutual dreams without having to say a word. “

– The jury of BCBF

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Further readings:

Charles Dutertre art.
BCBF Fiction Winner.



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