IT'S ALRIGHT, DEAR TOAD
Ce n'est pas grave, mon crapaud - Soyung Lee - 23 x 30,7 cm - 48 pages - August 2021 - €15
Once upon a time, there were two toads. They were very good friends, despite being very different. Whereas White Toad was outgoing and cheerful, Red Toad was a loner and a homebody. He was tired of listening to White Toad always talk about his other friends. Then one day, things get out of hand and Red Toad throws a rock at White Toad, shouting “Go away!”. As White Toad is injured and rushed to the hospital, Red Toad is consumed by guilt… But when the kind and understanding White Rabbit comes along, Red Toad manages to let go of his sadness and forgive himself.
Picture books that explore this feeling of possessiveness with such tact, and what happens when it goes too far, are rare… A sensitive, powerful, and on-point story, from which the complexity of human relationships emerges. The monotype illustrations, brought to life with watercolour pencils and shimmery primary colours, alternate between expressive vignettes and full-pages.
Soyung Lee was born in Seoul in 1980 and spent several years in Paris studying at the École Olivier de Serres. After graduating with an applied arts degree, she published several picture books in Korea and France, where she is recognised as a talented new illustrator and storyteller. She currently lives in Korea.