Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of My Pictures After the Storm

My Pictures After the Storm
by Éric Veillé; illus. by the author; trans. from the French by Daniel Hahn
Primary    Gecko    32 pp.
3/17    978-1-776571-04-8    $16.99

This subversive French import riffs on the standard before-and-after construct with a crafty conceit and playful presentation. The opening spread is simple enough. On the left sits a grouping of seaside items, titled “MY PICTURES,” each labeled in loopy cursive. On the right “MY PICTURES after the storm” display the same items, now altered: the pail is a puddle, the slide is overturned (its label written upside down), and the parasol is almost out of frame. Subsequent juxtapositions up the ante with increasingly beguiling transmogrifications. A family spread features, on the left side, a boy, his father, and pregnant mother. On the right, “after the baby,” a screaming baby sister is surrounded by a vast array of infant paraphernalia, and the older child appears perplexed. A bedroom spread includes a monster and a mosquito on the left; on the right the monster is revealed to be a couple of coats on a rack, and the narrator, covered in welts, has become a monster (the mosquito is nowhere to be seen). While board covers, sturdy pages, and the picture-dictionary format may suggest early learning, do not be fooled: this conceptual compendium aims squarely at the elementary set with provocative delight.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Thom Barthelmess About Thom Barthelmess

Thom Barthelmess is Youth Services Manager for the Whatcom County Library System in northwest Washington State.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*