Rapido’s Next Stop

by Joëlle Jolivet and Jean-Luc Fromental; published in English by Abrams Books For Young Readers.

Rapido’s Next Stop is slightly odd, sure, but it’s wholly mesmerizing. Its size and heavily weighted cover and pages are the first indicators of something a bit unusual.

The title page reveals a list of Rapido’s deliveries, and slyly asks you to join him on his route.

No, really…join him on his route! Following his red van on each page leads to the discovery of flaps to lift and riddles to solve. Remember those items from the title page? Each of them is delivered, but its word is replaced with a symbol. The rhyme on the flaps is sometimes a bit rusty, but I’d blame that on translation. Even still, it’s entertaining and smartly done.

The reader gets to work in this book, helping Rapido at each stop, and puzzling out the riddle as well. That experience, paired with the oversize nature of this book, leads to a very tactile interactivity.

And the color palette! Oh man. I adore Joëlle Jolivet’s strong style. The thick stroked black lines, filled in with vibrant and saturated hues (but not too many!) are so beautiful. (And her book Coloriages is just plain whoa. My rusty French tells me that means coloring pages? It’s a lift-the-flap coloring book, with the same weighted black lines and it is stunning.)

I love that there isn’t too much color to compete with the hustle and bustle of Rapido’s city. The rhythm and pattern and noise of the city is enhanced by the color, rather than confused by it. Here’s one full (drop dead gorgeous) spread:

And the colors used? Red, Green, Blue, Orange. That’s it. Red and Green are complements, as are Blue and Orange. They live directly opposite one another on the color wheel.

That’s so yesterday’s color news. Have you ever heard of a tetrad color scheme? Sure, everyone knows complementary, maybe even analogous, but if you’re ever at a cocktail party and need to sound really fancy, just drop some tetrad knowledge on them.

If you place a rectangle or a square onto the color wheel, the colors at the resulting corners can be used to create a tetrad color scheme.

Boom. Red, Green, Blue, Orange. It’s balanced, pleasing, and increases the amount of color contrast found in just a plain old complementary color scheme. Perfect for Rapido’s ride.

(And now Rapido has made me hungry for fancy French breakfast.)


  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I love this! Your review is brilliant and the book looks beautiful. I totally agree with you about the bold style, it looks fantastic with such a small colour palette.
    And I learned something! Thanks.

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Such an awesome comment! Thank you so much for visiting:)

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen this book and don’t know this author/illustrator, but it’s gorgeous and looks like a lot of fun!

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I know you love a good lift-the-flap book!

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    You’re so right! 🙂

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Looks like a book that the child in me wants to get her hands on!!! Fun!

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. That is how I now feel after learning about tetrad color scheming. 😉 It is a beautiful book isn’t it?!

  • Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    You are!!

  • tinamcho
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I learn something about art every time I read your blog! Tetrad! Cool book!

  • Joanna
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I can think of lots of kids (and me) who would love this book. And I so plan on dropping ‘tetrad color scheme into my next cocktail conversation.

  • Posted August 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    oh, I like it;) so sweet, charming, interesting.
    Cool book!

  • Posted August 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Tetradrific! Comes close to the scheme in my living room (if you hold your head still!) lol. When I saw the post title I immediately thought of a 1949 french film called Jour de Fête, where the MC, a postman, rides as fast as he can: “Rapidité, rapidité!” If you ever get a chance watch it!

3 Trackbacks

  • By A Penguin Story « Design of the Picture Book on September 5, 2012 at 11:23 am

    […] we talk about color again? I know we just went all tetradic-fancy-color-scheme-boom last time, but I just can’t help […]

  • By Fish On A Walk « Design of the Picture Book on February 12, 2013 at 7:50 am

    […] cover hints at all of this, with its mossy greens and a muddy red – complementary colors on the good old color wheel. As far a part as they can get from one another, and a great use of […]

  • By Driving Traffic to Your Archives | The Daily Post on December 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

    […] to older posts. Here, Carter selects various posts from 2013, and even one from 2012 — “Rapido’s Next Stop,” the featured post on the far right, is from August […]