Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ana's Picture Book of the Week

Pippo the Fool, by Tracey E. Fern, illustrated by Pau Estrada 2009 Charlesbridge Publishing; 48 pages. ISBN: 1570916551

I heard this story long ago... most certainly from my story-telling aunt, who had the power to do exactly what this phenomenal books does: to turn real life stories into a delightful tale for children! But while my good auntie illustrated her stories with words in a way only she could do, this new publication is illustrated by lines and color in a way that will captivate young and old alike. One would be reminded of Tomie De Paola, but a Tomie de Paola turned-to-life with much more realistic, rich-in-detail full page spreads.

The story is one of big dreams, inventiveness, and great doses of courage and perseverance. Half a millennium ago in Florence, the great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was all built, but for the dome... and a contest was announced for the building of an architectural feat never done before. Little Pippo, called the fool by the people, a goldsmith, dreamed of a plan... and had to undergo quite a bit to accomplish it!

Pictures books are such integral part of our family life... and books such as Pippo the Fool come to entertain, to educate and to delight. Hats off to writer and illustrator. Do not miss this gem!

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