Monday, 9 June 2008

Picture Book Monday: "The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum" by Kate Bernheimer and Nicoletta Ceccoli

I’m very excited about this week’s book. I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it since the day I saw the cover on the internet and immediately order a copy. And it took ages to come in! Now, finally I have it and I have to say I’m not the slightest disappointed. On the contrary, I’m stunned but the beauty of it. I wish I had a poster of every single page of it so I could decorate my room with them.
If you love Nicoletta Ceccoli’s art, of just simply beautiful, dream-like illustrations, this book will leave you breathless.

The story is about a little girl, who lives in a castle inside a glass globe, in a toy museum. People says she has lived inside the castle forever, and children visiting the museum try hard to take a peek of her. What they don’t know is that she feels very lonely when they go home, and she is left in the castle with no one to play with. So, at night, she dreams of boys and girls who come to visit her, and keep her happy. Sometimes the girl in the castle even dreams about you. But there’s something you can do to help her. You can place a picture of you on her wall, so that she won’t miss you at all!

The magic of these illustrations is extraordinary. You can find it in the faces of the children, like porcelain dolls, so ethereal and yet so palpable. In the little girl’s hair, which looks like golden candy floss. In the choice of dresses, accessories, decorations. They belong in the world of dreams and fairy tales.
The toys and the little creatures that live in the castle have a surreal quality, that could be creepy but it’s not: a wind-up flying dice-doll, a button-eyed cuckoo clock, a winged doll hanging from the ceiling. They are all part of this incredibly imaginative dimension. It’s made of colourful buttons, stars, skittles, toy windmills, balls and spinning tops, and so much more.
I love the pins on the girls’ hair. I love the warm colours, the children’s dresses, and the fact that there’s buttons everywhere.
I could talk about this for ever, but I will never be able to convey what you need to see with your own eyes.
I really hope this will get all the recognitions it deserves.

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings payed a tribute to Nicoletta Ceccoli in one of his Friday favourite posts. If you haven't seen it yet, go and take a look! You'll know what I mean.

other blog reviews:
Jill at the well-read child
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Cheryl Rainfield


Unknown said...

This is by far my favorite picture book of the year...the story and the illustrations are absolutely AMAZING.

Ana S. said...

"If you love Nicoletta Ceccoli’s art, of just simply beautiful, dream-like illustrations, this book will leave you breathless."

I'm sure it will. I can't wait to read this one!

Melody said...

Ok, now I'll have to buy this book!!! ;)

Lenore Appelhans said...

Love this cover! I added you to my blogroll - we've read a lot of the same books.

Carl V. Anderson said...

It is wonderful, isn't it? I have to say that I read my giveaway copy before sending it off and it was so delightful that I want one of my own. She is an amazing artist.

Anonymous said...

I read about this somewhere online and then saw it mentioned on Carl's blog, but was bummed when I didn't win the copy he gave away! It looks like one I'll probably buy one day.

Jill said...

I loved this book, too! I put it on hold - along with all the others I could find illustrated by Ceccoli at my library - as soon as I read Carl's post about her. I love, love love the illustrations! It is a charming book with that sense of wonder I always associate with the best children's books (and books for adults, too!).

valentina said...

Jill, it will definitely be one of my super favourites of this year too!

Nymeth, this might get you started with the picture book mania, beware!:P

melody, do, do!!

Lenore, thank you! I'll have a browse in your blog as soon as I have some nice stress-free time:P

carl, the person who won the giveaway was very lucky but at least you got to read it too! can't wait for more illustrations of hers...

stephanie, I'll get you one if you win my contest:D

darla, yes,we're talking quality here. you can definitely see she put all her love and passion into it, isn't it?