Synopses & Reviews
is a story, and like all great stories it deepens with each retelling.
Ballad builds over seven sequences. The first has three images: school, path, home. The next builds upon the first, giving us: school, street, path, forest, home. The next five sequences take up this story, but with new words and images that nearly double the previous sequence. Here a child encounters the world as he returns home from school, and we see his small world become enormous. This story is as old as the world. It happens every day.
Blexbolex is a bold, highly talented graphic artist. In addition to creating comics, he's been internationally acclaimed for Seasons, selected as a 2012 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year; and People.
"Blexbolex's previous children's books, Seasons and People, toyed with subtle hints of narrative amid their portraits of flora, fauna, and humans; the French artist pushes further into narrative experimentation with this small-format adventure that grows in complexity and strangeness as it progresses. Once again, Blexbolex's angular, vintage-flavored silkscreen illustrations are paired with brief descriptions. Unfolding in just a few pages, the first story segment suggests a mundane school day: 'The school, the road, home,' reads a tidy cursive font below a sequence of three illustrations. In the second segment, the unseen narrator notices more of the landscape ('The school, the street, the forest, home'). Strange occurrences quickly mount a pipe-smoking 'stranger' arrives, foxlike 'bandits' lurk, and a blue 'witch' threatens. From there, the book becomes a wild journey involving an upside-down curse (it even affects the text), a kidnapping, a captive elf, the summoning of demons, and more; at one point, the text vanishes, requiring readers to grab hold of the storytelling reins. As a story, it's challenging, mysterious, and even obscure. As an object and a piece of bookmaking, it's a work of art. Ages 8 up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
New York Times Book Review
Best Illustrated Book of 2013
"As a story, it's challenging, mysterious, and even obscure. As an object and a piece of bookmaking, it's a work of art." and#151; Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"This book is unlike anything I've ever seen before...It's a puzzle, a fairy tale, an adventure, a love story, made with words and pictures used in a new, utterly beguiling way. The silk-screened images, made with unbelievable fluorescent ink, will draw you in and will leave you breathless till the end."and#151;Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brainpickings' Top 13 Children's, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013
In his latest bold endeavor, Blexbolex takes us on an experimental stroll, during which familiar things are always changing.
This image-based story builds page by page, over seven sequences. The initial sequence consists of three images: beginning, middle and end of a journey. The following six sequences take up this same story, but with new details and extra images added each time. The story thus quickly becomes enormous as the number of new images doubles with each sequence.
Ballad, is a story. It is also a narrative song, and like all great stories, it deepens with each retelling.
About the Author
Blexbolex is a bold and highly talented graphic artist. In addition to creating numerous comics, he has been internationally acclaimed for his books Seasons, which was selected as a 2012 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and People,which received the prestigious Goldene Letter Award in 2009 for "Best Book Design throughout the World."