Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Around the World with Mouk - all the way to Kangaroo Island

I am having a love affair with a couple of French children's books at the moment. Luckily my daughter shares this enthusiasm.

The first is the truly amazing Mouk by Mark Boutavant which is published in English by Gecko Press. Mouk is a little brown bear (see him in many guises in the cover below) who decides to travel the world making friends.

Being a French book he ends up in countries which are not always front of mind to us such as Bobo-Dioulasso, Madagascar and Lake Titicaca.

Being a French bear he has very marked likes and dislikes but enjoys the taste of the new foods he tries, and gets tired being energetic with the locals.

Here he is in New York

Here is Mouk on a Greek Island eating watermelon and octopus. This is my favourite picture - check out the elderly Greek widow goat in the background.

Here is Mouk on Kangaroo Island, which is to the south of South Australia.

For the record, this is what Kangaroo Island looks like, these photos are from our trip there in 2006.

Here is Mouk on Kyushu Island in Japan under the cherry blossom.

In India observing a painted elephant.

I hope these pictures convey the incredible colour used in the illustrations and particularly the detail as there is a lot going on. To me this conveys what travelling is actually like. People and experiences everywhere you look.

This book is made even better by the fact that it has a padded (!) cover, is printed on thick shiny paper, and comes with removable stickers for making the scenes even more eccentric and colourful. I sometimes feel a bit deprived as I am sure there are some incredible illustrated books out there in other languages which are just not available to the English speaking world. I guess that is what Amazon France is for.

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