A Lion in Paris

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna by Beatrice Alemagna (Tate, 2014)

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

First of all. This book opens the wrong way. I mean, it’s completely right, but it is unusual in all of the most wonderful ways.

Also, it’s huge. It’s the size of a cookie sheet or a throw pillow, which is also unusual in all of the most wonderful ways.

After all, how else can you contain a lion?

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

He was a big lion. A young, curious and lonely lion. He was bored at home on the grasslands, and so one day he set off to find a job, love and a future.

This is such a perfect picture book setup. We meet our leading man and instantly understand what’s he like and what he wants. Succint, confident, and interesting in both visuals and voice.

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna Something about the massive white space for the text and the intricate illustrations on opposing sides of the gutter. It’s cinematic almost–reminiscient of that silent movie era where a title card precedes the action. The frame on each side of the gutter even approximates the golden rectangle of today’s high definition aspect ratio.

They are pleasing boundaries for storytelling. The pictures don’t need to leave physical layout space for the text, and the text gets a chance to stand alone and confident as well.

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

The people were hurrying around with a strange kind of sword under their arms, but nobody thought of attacking him. That surprised him.

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

When he went out into the street, it started to rain. That made him think of his lovely sunny grasslands and he felt sad. He turned all grey and shiny like the roofs around him.

So off course, things will get strange and sad for our gentle giant before his journey is through. But isn’t that true of many lionhearted luminaries?

This is a book for anyone who wrinkles a forehead and grins a little at smart design. It’s also a book for anyone who feels a little lost, a little rainy, a little roar-y.

It’s for anyone who is looking for that perfect place to be still and happy.

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna

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PS: Tate is a British publisher, not to be confused with the notorious scam-ish publisher in America of the same name.

5 Comments

  • Posted May 12, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Ooh, I have a thing for lion picture books, and want to get them all for my son. (His name is Griffin). And heck, I also have a thing for lions b/c of my name too. =) Lovely picture book!

  • Posted May 12, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I love the illustrations in this book, especially the second to last picture you provided–looks lot alot of different mediums are happening. Thanks for the share!

  • Jilanne Hoffman
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Is this the Tate of the Tate Gallery in London? It’s a gorgeous book. Love the mixed media illustrations. There’s something about them that makes me want to figure out what’s “real” and what’s drawn.

  • Posted May 16, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow your work is amazing. LOVE to read all your posts and see all your work, a great inspiration—- I am following your blog.
    Have a great day.

  • Posted May 16, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Hello
    Your work is Wow (amazing). I love the illustrations in this book A LION IN PARIS. and i love reading all your posts. Great work and a great inspiration—-