Cover image for Child of glass
Title:
Child of glass
Uniform Title:
Gisèle de Verre. English
ISBN:
9781592703036
Edition:
1st English-language ed.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
General Note:
"Originally published in French by Albin Michel Jeunesse as Gisèle de Verre."--Title page verso.
Added Author:
Summary:
A story about difference, exclusion, and ultimately self-acceptance, Child of Glass explores the interplay between inner and outer and the journey we have to go on to become ourselves. Child of Glass is about Gisele, a fragile, strong, transparent girl who denounces the meanness that can mark life in the world. In sparse, poetic language that all of us, however young or old, can understand, Child of Glass reminds us of our birthright to become ourselves. Freedom isn't about accepting what is; it's about asking the questions and taking the actions that allow us to be at home in the world. --
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Summary

Summary

A story about difference, exclusion, and ultimately self-acceptance,Child of Glassexplores the interplay between inner and outer and the journey we have to go on to become ourselves.

Child of Glassis about Gisele, a fragile, strong, transparent girl who denounces the meanness that can mark life in the world. In sparse, poetic language that all of us, however young or old, can understand,Child of Glassreminds us of our birthright to become ourselves. Freedom isn't about accepting what is; it's about asking the questions and taking the actions that allow us to be at home in the world.

Beautifully illustrated in a painterly, drawn, and collaged style, this is a story of layers, textures, and transparencies in every sense. It is also a book that explores the possibilities of form to render idea, thereby providing connective tissue between the world of the book and life in the world.

"To draw is to tell. Everyone who feels emotion has something to tell. Emotions keep on changing, growing, as children do. My drawings and stories change with them." So saysBeatrice Alemagna, who was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1973. Alemagna has written and illustrated dozens of children's books, which have received numerous awards all over the world and have been translated into fourteen languages. She has also had solo exhibitions in France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, and Japan. Alemagna'sThe Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishyis also published by Enchanted Lion.


Author Notes

To draw is to tell. Everyone who feels emotion has something to tell. Emotions keep on changing, growing, as children do. My drawings and stories change with them.So says Beatrice Alemagna, who was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1973. Alemagna has written and illustrated dozens of children's books, which have received numerous awards all over the world and have been translate into 14 languages. She has also had solo exhibitions in France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Sweden andJapan. Beatrice's work can be found on Instagram @beatricealemagna and at: thetopsyturvybook.tumblr.com. Alemagna's The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy is also published by Enchanted Lion.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--Life is hard for any child who is different--but for a child who is not only different but also transparent, enduring ridicule from others can be suffocating. Gisele was born transparent: she blends into the scenery around her and is such an anomaly that people come from far and wide to lay eyes on her. With her transparency, however, comes the fact that her thoughts, good and bad, are clearly visible to those around her. While this was helpful in her childhood, her thoughts become more complex and troubling as she ages. This alienates her from others who cast her aside, no matter where she goes. Ultimately, Gisele learns an important lesson and the trajectory of her life changes completely. Using an interesting mix of opaque and translucent pages, Gisele's story is told both in words and images. Interestingly, Gisele is naked throughout the story while others around her are clothed, echoing the nakedness of her thoughts. The illustrations are created in a style of collage-abstraction, their varying colors and textures representing the world in a visually intriguing way. Though there is a moderate amount of text and some pages are devoid of words completely, the message the story sends will resonate deeply with readers of all ages. VERDICT This book is a gentle introduction to the complexity of the internal human conflict of fitting in while also being true to oneself.--Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver Public Library


Horn Book Review

What would happen if ones thoughts were always exposed? Set in a mythical village near the cities of Florence and Bilbao, this picture book explores that question through its main character, Gisele, a child made of glass. Beautiful, fragile, and completely transparent (and in the illustrations, naked), Gisele has a problem: every thought she has is on display for anyone to observe and judge. People grew cross with her. Cant you keep your thoughts to yourself? they would say. Or, Arent you ashamed to show such awful things, Gisele? Giseles glass exterior begins to crack from this burden, and she decides to leave home. Ethereal art brings out the fairy-tale quality of the story, and strategically placed paper vellum overlays add complexity to the idea of transparency and human thought. Though she travels extensively, Gisele finds she cannot escape; wherever she goes, she faces disapproval and rejection, and from this constant struggle she learns to accept herself for who she is. She returns home to live as she pleases, sparkling and luminous, sensitive and transparent, but resolute. Metaphoric in its consideration of how one learns to own the whole of oneself in a judgmental, conformist world, the story also touches on the value of the life of the mind. Julie Roach March/April 2020 p.49(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Gisele, a miraculous girl born as clear as a windowpane, must live with her every emotion plain for the whole village to see in this import, translated from French. Flat matte artwork (a combination of paint and collage) creates Gisele's provincial town "near the cities of Florence and Bilbao" as a jumble of narrow buildings and people while translucent vellum paper and delicate blue linework relay her fragility and transparency. With Gisele's thoughts "on display [as if] in a shop window," she sometimes grows despondent, even furious. Readers, like the townspeople, might stare at Gisele's flat features, her helmet-shaped head, and her nudity. But once they accept this fable's premise, they quickly encounter wrenching, interesting questions about emotions, communication, public opinion, and acceptance. Both sensitive young people who broadcast their feelings and those who clutch their emotional cards tightly to their chests will reel at the overwhelming notion of having one's inner world exposed, revealed for others to dissect, criticize, or coddle. "Aren't you ashamed to show such awful things, Gisele?" a monstrous, distorted crowd of clothed villagers sneers. Gisele's pain, articulated by double-page spreads of her wide, pale blue face shedding a multifaceted crystal tear through powerful vellum page turns, will feel acute and familiar to adolescents. Will reach both small and older readers struggling to conceal, manage, and express complicated inner worlds. (Picture book. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Young Gisele, transparent from head to toe and shedding crystal tears, lives in a small European town. In addition to having a glasslike body, Gisele feels considerable distress from having her thoughts(both good and bad) on constant display. Seeking peace, she leaves home, finds rejection everywhere she goes, and eventually returns to her family, opting to be content with herself. Alemagna's brief, poetic text speaks to the personal anguish that results from being different and the importance of self-acceptance. The text also touches upon the discomfort adults feel upon realizing that children have dark thoughts. The illustrations (created with cutouts, pencil, paint, collage, and vellum) are rendered in a magic-realistic style, with Gisele's thoughts appearing in neat compartments within her brain as others peer directly into her head. Additionally, several spreads employ transparent vellum inserts that allow readers to observe Giselle from a variety of perspectives. Giselle is outlined in blue with background patterns bleeding through, which may unsettle some readers. A thoughtful story that should inspire much discussion.