Monday, November 10, 2014

Beautiful Book #31

The Simon books by Gilles Tibo. Tundra. 1992-2001

Philosophical magic realism for the pre-school set: this is the most apt description I can think of for Montrealer Tibo's 11 Simon books, each of which was published first in French and then in English. The books are small, gentle, imaginative, playful and practically perfect. I don't think I could pick a favourite among them, although Simon and the Snowflakes and Simon and his Boxes hold special memories for me of reading them with my daughter. The way Tibo combines light and colour to depict the natural world as seen through Simon's 1st person narrative is so complex in planning and execution yet so simple in presentation that the books seem meant to be. When I imagine a three-year-old, book in hand, the book is usually a Simon book, unless, of course, it's one of Roslyn Schwartz' Mole Sisters books or one of Marie-Louise Gay's Stella and Sam books. What's with Montrealers and their insight into the preschool mind?

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