Review: Child of Glass by Beatrice Alemagna

Child of Glass by Beatrice Alemagna

Child of Glass by Beatrice Alemagna (9781592703036)

This unusual French picture book is deep, questioning and modern. Giselle was born near Florence and Bilbao. She was born made entirely of glass, transparent and capturing the light of life around her. People could also see right into her head, viewing her thoughts as she had them. If she was fearful or worried, people would reassure her when they saw those thoughts. As she grew older though, her thoughts were sometimes very dark and sad. When people saw those things, they grew angry, asking how she could think that way and demanded that she stop. The tension of trying to change caused fractures in her glass body. Finally, Giselle decided to leave and find another place to live. But every place treated her exactly the same. Eventually, Giselle returned home, deciding to live as she is without trying to change, entirely transparent and whole.

This picture book wrestles with the very idea that children have dark thoughts, that they are worried and afraid at times, that their imaginations are not always light and playful. It’s a story about being different and being forced to conform uniquely to the crowd’s ideas. Yet it is also a story about finding oneself, living life on your own terms. The book is about reality, a lovely allegory to the importance put upon conforming and the necessity for us all to live our authentic lives, transparently.

The illustrations are complex and filled with different media. They include collage, different types of pens, markers, and pencils. They are layered and dramatic, capturing the mood of each part of the story. Some of the pages are transparent, looking through Giselle’s thoughts and emotions.

Unique and fascinating, this picture book embraces the dark side of our minds and the beauty of individuals. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from copy provided by Enchanted Lion Books.

2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

YALSA has announced their official 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. The list has 103 titles included from 178 nominations. The books are for ages 12-18 and are both high quality and have teen appeal. A top ten list is also chosen. Here are the books in the Top Ten:

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Bloom by Kevin Panetta, art by Savanna Ganucheau

Cosmoknights: Book One by Hanna Templer

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir Kiss Number 8

I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable, art by Ellen T. Crenshaw

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of an Extraordinary Life

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, art by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave’s Journey from Bondage to Freedom by David F. Walker, art by Damon Smyth and Marissa Louise

Pumpkinheads Simon & Louise

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, art by Faith Erin Hicks

Simon & Louise by Max de Radigues

They Called Us Enemy Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei and Justin Eisinger, art by Harmony Becker

Witch Hat Atalier by Kamome Shirahama