I am not as familiar with kids book publishers as I once was, but have stumbled upon a terrific one: Enchanted Lion Books in Brooklyn.

They appear to specialize in translated picture books and I have read some doozies the past few days: The Bathing Costume by Charlotte Moundlic (illustrated by Olivier Tallec), Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme (illustrated by the same Olivier Tallec), and Wait! Wait! by Nakawake Hatsue (illustrated by Komako Sakai).

But the piece de resistance so far is the gorgeous and ingenious Ballad by Blexbolex. This book is struturally innovative and employs a storytelling technique that relies on repetition and variation. The narrative (which is mostly visual) builds tension through a series of fairy-tale-like occurences and the book veers delightfully from playful romp to dreadful nightmare.

Highly recommended!

Now on to Mister Orange, by Truus Matti, which was just awarded the 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award by the ALA. (Mister Orange seems more like a mid-grade book, since it employs very few illos.)

Do yourself a favor—whether you’ve got kids or not—and check out Enchanted Lion Books!

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