When I decided to do a post on Isabelle Malenfant, it was originally to write about the author of one of the books she illustrated. But I realized that without Isabelle's illustrations, I wouldn't have felt the way I felt about this book. Isabelle Malenfant is not only gifted technically, she also carries the emotions of a story through her mixed techniques in such a way that it not only touched me, but my kids as well.
When I read Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress to my kids they heard quite a powerful message through the story of a little boy who likes wearing a special costume dress in his classroom. I usually emphasize quite a lot of gender issues in my home, and I find it important for our family to embrace differences and try not to abide by stereotypes, especially boys vs girls! The way Malenfant illustrated the love this child has for this dress that reminds him of tigers and his mother's hair is so simple yet powerful that my kids kept commenting on it and coming back to the page where Morris enrobes himself in the dress.
Isabelle has illustrated mostly Francophone books (which can be a great resource for parents who want to introduce another language) but has some in English as well, such as Maggie's chopsticks, and Once Upon a Balloon.
This prize winning artist has quite a path ahead of her, and I can't wait for the next books we're going to buy, especially since the next one is one she also wrote called L'île Au Chat.
→ Isabelle Malenfant's website
→ Isabelle Malenfant on Amazon
(Image credits: Isabelle Malenfant; Isabelle Malefant)