0 - 2 years, Vintage Books, Babalibri

Il Palloncino Rosso

Illustration by Iela Mari

Published by Babalibri

Simple, minimalist and elegant. A wordless Italian children's book that follows the transformation of a red bubble as it morphs in to a balloon, apple, butterfly, flower and finally into an umbrella. All objects commonly depicted in children's books. The perspective and size of the red object constantly changes throughout the book. 

Originally published in 1967 by the Italian artist, Iela Mari. The small green hardcover book is detailed using only black pen lines and one block colour of red on each spread. The hand drawn black lines capture large areas of detail such as fields of flowers and apple tree branches. The detailed black lines contrast beautifully with the heavy block of red colour. The rain has been beautifully depicted with very fine, black parallel lines offset very close together across the page. A superb contrast to the large red umbrella.  

The book starts with a young boy blowing a red bubble and ends with this same boy holding a red umbrella. Perhaps Mari is trying to convey a deeper meaning by reintroducing the boy at the end of the book. This is very subtle and a bit lost on me but others may read something in to this. 

A short and sweet wordless book. It is graphically bold and superbly simple. Kids will be amazed by the transformation of the red bubble.