Sky High


by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine

(Originally published as Les Gratte-Ciel in Switzerland in 2011.)

This book was just published in the US in late November, but I have had my claws on it since this summer. I know.


But! It’s so fantastic that I didn’t think it was fair to show it until you had a chance to get your paws on it, too.

And I highly recommend snagging this one. It would make a perfect gift for anyone who veers into the land of quirky and oddball sensibilities. Or anyone who loves art and architecture. Or anyone who loves picture books. Or color. Or has tall bookshelves.

Pretty much anyone.


This is a story of dueling home renovators. Neighbors. Just your average Joes with fancy names and fancier cars.

When Agenor-Agobar Poirer des Chappelles (!) adds a gold solid door, Willigis Kittycly Junior brings in a marble column inlaid with diamonds. The two pile on the one-ups – keeping up with the Monsieurs.



White space on the tall pages gives the homes physical space to grow. Also? I felt my own brain stretching to new fantastical and imaginative heights. Just when I thought I loved this book as much as possible, a chihuahua celebrates his third birthday with 400 guests.


A wardrobe with 6,000 suits! A stuffed Bengal tiger! A Venetian mirror!


Sky High is a lovely cautionary tale, peppered with wacky surprises and perfect illustrations. And on top of all that, (HA – get it?) it’s just as beautiful on the outside. I almost love that it’s too tall to fit on my bookshelf. More time to gaze at the warm gray and yellow of the cover. Just another tiny, portable art gallery in picture book form.



  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Ooooh, this looks marvelous! Must get my paws on it!

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    “a chihuahua celebrates his third birthday with 400 guests” is all the recommendation I ever need.

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    *yip yip yip*

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Чувство реальности смешать с фантастическим чувством безответственности, и можно красиво жить, хотя бы в детской книжке! :)
    The sense of reality mixed with a fantastic sense of irresponsibility, and it is possible to live beautifully, even in children’s books! :)
    Thank you.

  • Richa Jha
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Wow! Paws and claws itching to grab this one, Carter! I’m going to share this on my Fb page, if I may please! Say, yes, yes, yes!

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Of course!

  • Richa Jha
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Goodie! Have scheduled it for Dec 27! Thanks!

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    You sly devil, keeping this from us! It looks fantastic.

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    wow, I love this!! such a European sensibility–brave and purposeful design. I must have it.

  • Virginia Rinkel
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of the “Mousetrap” in reverse! Yes, great European influences.

  • Posted December 14, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    This looks gorgeous. And I am a fan of all those things: architecture, picture books, color, and tall bookshelves. Perfect! Have you seen the Queen of Versailles documentary? This reminds me of it.

  • Posted December 16, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    I would of loved this as a child, I love the totally random aspect of it all, and the labelling as well I would probably just stare at a page for hours!!!

  • Posted December 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes! Me too.

  • Posted December 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I love the look of this book. Simple and clean! I must get this to read to my little one and add to our over whelming collection! Thanks!

  • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    This book looks gorgeous! The concept is really interesting. I love the use of white space in it, it balances so well with the pictures!

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