Picture Book Faves: Carnaval Animal and Cherche et Trouve

Monday, 29 September 2014

One of the delights of travel is the ability to explore, first hand, the rare delights of other places. And for me - no delight could bring more joy that picture books.

Alas, picture books are heavy! especially en masse, and so, on a recent trip with my family to Europe, I had to seriously limit myself with the PB acquisitions (many of which I plan to share with you right here in Tania's Picks).

In Paris, we visited one of my favourite stores - FNAC - and entered a floor of children's book heaven. There were not only local French finds, but loads of foreign titles (translated into French). Such a delight to see Freya Blackwood and Oliver Jeffers books, in particular.

So that my kids could enjoy some foreign language books, I snaffled some picture books with minimal text. I have a thing for long-format books (I know librarians hate them in terms of shelving ability!) - and I'll share two of them with you now.

The first is a pop-up picture book by Iris de Vericourt, entitled Carnaval Animal. The internal pages are split into three sections (head, body, tail) and feature a fox (renard), monkey (signe), rooster (coq), lobster (écrevisse), bear (ours) and cameleon (caméléon).

Not only are the paper pop-ups truly divine, they can, of course, be mixed up into all manner of brilliant animal creations. A bear head, lobster body and rooster tail, anyone? Just try to keep little hands away from this one.

(Carnaval Animal, Hélium, ISBN: 9782358510615)

The second book is entitled Cherche et Trouve sur les 5 continents (Seek and Find  the five continents) by Thierry Laval. Another long-format book, this fabulous creation has Richard Scarry written all over it.

Beginning with Amérique du Nord (North America), we open to a double page spread of delightful, labelled, characters and scenes. Both these pages then open out to a full four-page spread and eye-boggling scene, combining all items from the previous page and much, much more.

And here is a peek at Australia . . .

(Cherche et Trouve sur les 5 continents, Seuil, ISBN: 9782021028935)

If you can't find these titles on Australian online stores or have them ordered in by your local bookstore (always a preference), you can find them on the Book Depository.

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