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March 2012 Blog Archive

Adventures in striped pyjamas!

Posted by Amélie, on 31 March 2012. Comments: 0

Put on your stripy pyjamas and set off on a adventure through magical dreamlands, thanks a very old animation technique: ombro-cinema. A simple piece of square striped plastic sliding across the pages brings the paper to life... Click on the video links to see a demonstration of the magic!

New York en pyjamarama:

Fly over New York and explore the roads and streets as they come alive with traffic and passers-by, under the bright lights of the city that never sleeps!

Luna Parc en pyjamarama:

Bumper cars and roller coasters, the fun fair take you in a whirlwind of music and attractions, before bringing you back to your bed, safely asleep in your striped pyjamas...


Folio anniversary titles

Posted by Amélie, on 24 March 2012. Comments: 0

For their 40th anniversary, French publisher Folio are publishing a series of new editions of beloved classics in a luxury paperback edition, with colourful high quality dust jackets.

They published in January a new translation of Francis Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, in February an anthology of texts from André Gide's Journal, but the best so far has to be their new edition of Voltaire's Candide, with wonderful black & white and colour illustrations by Quentin Blake, published in France for the first time in this volume! A great present for your friends or yourself...!

And they have 6 more titles planned for the year, so stay tuned for 6 more beautiful surprises...


Journée internationale de la Francophonie

Posted by Amélie, on 20 March 2012. Comments: 0

To celebrate the International Day of Francophonie, here is a (very short) selection of some of the best francophone titles:

L'âne by Driss Chraïbi (Morocco)
Find it here...

In a changing world, barber Moussa awakes to his peers, to modern life. His name is Moussa. He exchanged his donkey and his old knife blade for a modern hairdresser's kit. A long time the donkey follows him through the town, braying, until the day he leaps in front of the train carrying his master away. Years go by and Moussa still does not understand what world he woke up in, nor why. One day he meets a young Moroccan woman who used to know him and his donkey. Like him, she believes in change, and she enjoyed herself frenziedly; now she is being forced into a marriage she does not want.

Moussa refuses to be a mere spectator to social violence and hysteria any longer; he finds himself a mission. Is he on the path to become a modern-day Moses? A short novel which reads like a commentary on the events currently sweeping through North Africa.

Les petits-fils nègres de Vercingétorix by Alain Mabanckou (Congo)
Find it here...

Former Central African colony, the Republic of Vietcongo is prey to a dreadful civil war. President Kabouya lost the power after a coup, and Vercingétorix, the rebel leader, undertakes an operation of "reconquest". Fleeing the violence with her daughter, Hortense Iloki tells in her diary of the events of the war and rebuilds her past smashed to pieces.

Morne Câpresse by Giselle Pineau (Guadeloupe)
Find it here...

On top of the Morne Câpresse, in a proper garden of Eden, lives the mysterious Congregation of the Daughters of Cham. Led by Mother Pacôme, the community welcomes women wounded by life: murderers, drug addicts, prostitutes... Under an inflexible hierarchy, dozens of disciples work on healing the wounds of those lost girls and establishing strict rituals. Line, in a desperate search for her missing sister, goes to the Duaghters of Cham; but her awkward questions embarrass the perfect organisation.

What serious secrets are hiding behind the idyllic appearances of the community?

A uncompromising portrait of contemporary Guadeloupe.

Saisons sauvages by Kettly Mars (Haïti)
Find it here...

Port-au-Prince, 1960s: Duvalier and his "tontons macoutes" are systematically liquidating all opponents to the regime. Daniel Leroy, editor-in-chief of the main opposition newspaper, has just been kidnapped. To ensure the safety of her husband and protect her family, Nirvah submits to the desires of the frightful head of the police. To become the mistress of a man of power in the regime does not only come with inconvenients. As long as you can bear the look of your neighbours and the unvoiced questions of your own children...

Through the story of Nirvah and her family, Kettly Mars describes the workings of the dictatorial regime of Duvalier, a transitional and painful period for Haiti.


View our February 2012 blog archive »

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