Marc Boutavant’s Mouk is one of those children’s books that simply must grace your bookshelves. The illustration is so brilliantly vibrant and engaging. Often compared to Richard Scarry, so it is interesting to see a Scarry book in his Top Ten list of children’s books.
Marc is not only a children’s book illustrator but also an illustrator for comics and he kindly sent pictures of some of his favourites which feature in his list. I find this list particularly exciting as all of Marc’s books are French (we have listed the English as well where possible) and so there are lots of new ones to me ….
Trois Tours de Renard — Paul Francois & M. Beuville
From Beuville — such a great painter/drawer, such an elegant guy.
Archilbald Razmott et Sinistroreur, in comic book ‘Journal de Micky’ – Leo Baxendale (English: Eagle Eye Junior Spy which appeared in comic book Wham!)
I was crazy about Archilbald Razmott et Sinistroreur!
La Foret — Alain Gree (English: I think this might be ‘Keith & Sally in the Woods’, which is out of print)
As a child there was always something illustrated by Alain Grée around me. I remember it didn’t speak to me as a little boy but his splendid work obviously fed my own work.
M Le Magicien — Massimo Mattioli (From comic book Pif Gadget)
This fascinated me even or especially because of nonsense. But through his strange stories his art clearly spoke to me.
Joachim a des Ennuis — Rene Goscinny & Jean-Jacques Sempé (English: This book was the start of the Nicholas stories)
I’ll always have a kind of regret for not having grown up with the books of a fantastic man, Jean-Jacques Sempé.
As an adult reader I discovered masterpieces, the unforgettable text flavour from Toon Tellegen, and lovely illustrations, the first one was:
Lettres de L’écureuil a la Fourmi — illustrated by Axel Scheffler (English: Letters to Anyone and Everyone)
And closer to me, as friends and life and work mix every day and it appears in what I do, there are a few books I’d recommend for children :
La Faim des Sept Ours Nains — Emile Bravo (English: This book doesn’t seem to be in English but you can see Emilie’s work with Goldilocks and The Seven Squat Bears)
Le Diner Surprise — Pauline Martine and Astrid Desbordes (English: Again can’t find this one in English but Reflections of a Solitary Hamster and Daydreams of a Solitary Hamster are by the same authors).
Hortense au Plafond — Aurore Callias
*To read other book lists, click here.