Did you enjoy getting to know Françoise Mouly as much as I did? I’m still stuck on the assertion (and reminder!) that “a book can be read every night and it will always be the same and different. It will be what your Dad read when he was a kid, and what you’ll read to your children. It has some elements that don’t change yet it’s a new adventure every time you reread it, because reading is truly interactive and the reader is half the story.” I keep reading those words over and over, falling in love all over again with books.
One of the newest releases from Mouly’s imprint, Toon Books, is this endearing tale of sisters, patience, and hope. You’ll love The Big Wet Balloon, by Argentine cartoonist Liniers. The back of the title page tells us that Liniers’ art was created with ink, watercolor, and drops of rain. The charm of this book stretches through its entire design – how often do you look to the verso for moments of magic? So with that, I was smitten.
And then there’s the story. Big sister Matilda wakes up little Clemmie with the rules for waking up on Saturday. You ‘hooray!’ extra loud and you slurp your juice because everything is better on Saturday. Except this Saturday, it’s raining. Pouring. But Matilda teaches Clemmie all about rainboots and umbrellas and splashing in puddles. It’s a mostly perfect day, until an accidental gift to a rainbow changes Clemmie’s mood. Matilda and Clementine are the sweetest of sisters – adventurous, forgiving, and best of all, in love with each other.
Remember the beloved French film, The Red Balloon? Clementine’s fierce love for her red balloon is as tender as that boy’s. This pair of tales is enchanting and even tingly. Toon Books agrees, and are offering the duo as an art lover’s delight. What a gift! What a celebration! What stories.