Pomelo Begins To Grow

December is pulling a disappearing act. Please slow down, December. I haven’t had enough eggnog yet.

Still looking for a few books to slide under the tree? This one, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud and written by Ramona Badescu, is so pretty that you won’t even need wrapping paper.

As Pomelo went on his way one morning, he passed an ant, some potatoes, a pebble, a bunch of strawberries and his favorite dandelion.

Curiously enough, his dandelion seemed surprisingly small.

If the name Pomelo isn’t enough to instantly entice you to read, how about his elephant-ness? Yes? With a long, skinny, tape-measure trunk? He’s adorable. And growing.

Pomelo is quite worried about whether he will grow evenly all over. Or if he will turn big and gray and wrinkly.

And whether or not he will still just be a plain old kid.

The illustrations float a delicate line between restrained and fantastical, but each spread is equally inviting. Perhaps they even forgive an egregious grammar error? {Because Pomelo Begins To Grow was originally written in French, some of the wording may have been lost in translation. Hopefully this gets fixed on the next edition? It’s so lovely, that it would be a shame to not perfect it.}


Size refers to the bigness and smallness of various objects. {Duh.} But in design, elements of equal size create confusion on a page, because your eye jumps around awkwardly and is not not sure where to land. Pairing items of different sizes within a composition yields a more dynamic piece. The pages of Pomelo Begins To Grow play with size differences in a quirky manner, a design choice that makes sense due to the growth and the quest of our hero.


The greatest moment for size doesn’t even happen in the story. Behold: the endpapers.

{Insert sweet Pomelo’s story here.}

Very clever and very much why I love how design frames picture books. These endpapers summarize an already snappy story visually and quickly. A one-two punch of pretty.



  • Posted December 19, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    You must STOP with the compelling posts, already–I have work to do! 😀

  • Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Get back to work!! I’m sure you are making beautiful things today!

  • Posted December 21, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I hat totally missed the endpaper’s detail! Thanks for pointing that out. I loved the page where different parts of his body grow at different times and rates. My 3rd graders loved Pomelo and we had a great time discussing specific moments in time when we realized we were growing up. It turned out to be a great writing prompt.

  • Posted December 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I adore Pomelo :) He is my new favorite character, and I want to show him of to everybody :) Thank you for sharing.

  • Posted December 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Love all the love for Pomelo. What a sweet pink squirt.