Yllavu - Thao Lam
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HongFei Cultures, a French publishing house, only publish seven books a year and every one of them is worth checking out (see their backlist on www.hongfei-cultures.com). For Canadian fans, I have been told that HongFei books are distributed by Agence du livre, Quecbec, so if you can’t find them in the bookstores, you can try orderin them through ADL. HongFei’s children’s books are based on stories and poetry from Chinese literature, rewritten and illustrated by French artists. Keep reading…

Yllavu is one many lovely books published by HongFei Cultures, and is written by Gambhiro Bhikkhu and illustrated by Samuel Ribeyron. Yllavu is about a far away country where villagers are so busy collecting pretty stones that they stop talking to each other. Their necks are so stiff from looking down at the ground, searching, that they don’t look up to admire the beauty of the world around them anymore. I think a lot of us can relate; with our busy schedules, we let lots of things slip by, family, friends or even simply the change in the seasons.

Ribeyron’s illustrations were created with soft pastels, layered with textures and patterns. His villagers are so busy collecting stones that they are permanently hunched over, with thick necks that curve downwards like hooks. I was really drawn to the textures and patterns used through out the book, as they remind me of the bits and pieces of scrap in the collages I create. I would love to know how Ribeyron keeps the edges of the paper looking so soft and blended into his pastel painting. It all looks seamless, and not like two different mediums combined.

Yllavu, a children’s book review by Thao Lam




Author Gambhiro Bhikkhu

Gambhiro Bhikkhu was born in Hawaii in 1946, he did a lot of traveling before settling in Thailand 1978 and becoming a buddhist monk.

Illustrator Samuel Ribeyron

Previously profiled when B is for Books reviewed Pi Po Pierrot, Ribeyron’s illustrations are quirky and different. Still can’t find anything on our friend Samuel Ribeyron but he does have a web site: www.samuelribeyron.com and his blog: www.samuelribeyron.blogspot.com

Publisher Hongfei Cultures (October 3, 2007)

ISBN-10 2355580014

ISBN-13 978-2355580017