CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 2 . . . . September 17, 2004
The beautiful paintings in the book deserve careful attention as much of the story is communicated visually. The illustrations on the end pages, frontispiece, title page and copyright page all need carefully viewing. The paintings, rendered in warm pastel colours and soft textures, reflect a mixture of art styles (impressionism and surrealism).
The endearing picture book is a pantomime told in two acts and a colophon. A symbolic blank white page follows each recto page that announces Act I and Act II. The book also contains a list of characters ("Dramatis Personae") as well as a glossary. The setting of the story is the French countryside, and there are both French and Latin words in the text, as well as two Chinese characters. It is necessary to consult the glossary to understand the foreign phrases. Some words are on superimposed on other illustrations and several of the phrases are puns.
This charming book, The Three Hedgehogs, is the third picture book by Spanish author Javier Sáez Castán.
Sylvia Pantaleo is an Associate Professor of Language Arts in the Faculty of Education, the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.