Last Christmas I learned about this book by a list of the most beautiful children’s picture books. I don’t recall who had put that list together, but I got this book as well as another one I already reviewed, called “Gobble you up”
Blexbolex is a well known French graphic artist, and this book he put together tells over and over the story of a walk home from school. However, every pass has an extra element, and the story winds and turns in many different ways. It pretty much has very colorful drawings and labels on each pictures: The house. The road. The bridge. It allows for the child and adult reading to be elaborating on the story as it goes, introducing new characters and new situations at every turn.
It is a fabulous way to let a child’s imagination run wild with all the different possibilities, as well as a great exercise in storytelling. The situations and the characters are there… how you make the story flow is up to you and your child.
Ballad is a rather long book, even if it can be read very fast because it consists mainly of pictures… but I like to think of it more like a picture novel, as the child needs to be old enough to grasp the abstract of the same story repeating itself over and over (as a sort of Groundhog day), but building on to it to construct a whole adventure towards the end. I read it with my then 5 year-old, but she’s a girl who’s now reading chapter books on her own now at 6.
So, if you want to run wild in imagination world with a few pointers to build your own wonderful adventure, do dive into the beautiful world of Blexbolex’s Ballad.