UNDER THE ICE
Sous la glace - Michaël Escoffier & Ella Charbon - 23 x 11.5 cm - 24 pages - Picture book - January 2023 - €13
On the ice: a little fisherman. Under the ice: a tiny fish! Both are eager, greedy, determined and above all, well surrounded! When the fish takes the bait, all his friends join around him to help. The young fisher boy and his friends pull, pull, pull the line. The fish and his friends shoot, shoot, shoot underwater. Ho-hoist… Phew, that was close!
The uniqueness of this pretty little cardboard picture book with round corners that opens upwards, lies within the denouement of the story. Reading the text, located in the middle of the book, "in between two waters", we naturally see the child as the protagonist of the story. But the final about-turn is a surprise: the text is not connected with the image. The little fisher boy leaves empty-handed, and it is the little fish that is safe and satisfied. Let's read the book again… Have we been trapped? What if, in fact, Nouka was not the child, but the little fish?
A clever book which will make you gasp and laugh, whilst giving much emphasis to the themes of mutual aid and friendship!
MICHAEL ESCOFFIER is a children's books author who has written more than a hundred picture books, that have been widely praised and translated all over the world. ELLA CHARBON graduated in History of Photography at the École du Louvre. Giving birth to a son was a true revelation and she became passionate about illustration. She has been a children's books illustrator since 2008.