> Back up to jump better

All parents of young children have seen it by observing their offspring: in order to grow, you have to regress. Just before acquiring a new skill, the little man goes through a phase of crisis (and sometimes cries) a little harsh, but essential. Here is the illustration with this tale which plays nicely with classicism, both in form – texts written in attachment, warm drawings – and in its plot. Two cub brothers, Bartoli and Arsène, discover a tiny house in their forest and, in this house, a tiny cake. Arsène devours it and shrinks, becoming tiny in turn. He is embarked on adventures that are both exhilarating and frightening, from which he will emerge… grown up, in every sense of the word.

> Emancipated Rabbit

Laurent is a growing rabbit; he is tired of the “baby games” that used to keep him busy at home. So he ventures outside and, every day, with his mother’s approval, he pushes his exploration further. Until jumping over the river and going on a trip without returning. From a parent’s perspective, reading this beautiful reissued 1996 classic is all about one question: when does that ungrateful come home to reassure his mother? But the story doesn’t mean it that way: the rabbit makes its way, sometimes finding it hard to be alone, but enjoying the joy of freedom. And in the end… it’s not with his mother that he falls asleep by the fire, but with a rabbit he met on the road. Basically, this learning album is almost more formative for the parent than for the child.

> Feline Metamorphosis

Once upon a time there was a man who didn’t like cats or, at least, pretended. He begins by sweeping away the kitten lying on his terrace. To the feline that comes back every day, he ends up giving crumbs from his toast, a piece of string to play with, some milk. He worries when he disappears, or when he comes back exhausted and scratched. The evolution of their relationship is charming to observe, and we do not see the passage of time in these streaked illustrations, almost a little blurry, because they are made in woodcut. We therefore share the man’s surprise, when one fine day he discovers that the kitten, who had taken on a bit of weight, has given birth to three babies. A good summary of parenthood, where parents are always the last to realize that their big baby has turned into an emancipated teenager.