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Rocks, seashells, twigs, chicken bones, books found on benches, twines, pink and blue sheets of paper, bus, train and cinema tickets, cigarette butts, sand, ribbons, cocoons, alive and dead birds… Emilia Mirabilia’s room is so much cluttered with all sorts of objects that it is nearly impossible to get in – not that she minds, as she doesn’t like visitors anyway. A passionate collector since an early age, Emilia likes to live alone in her room, a sort of wunderkammer where she accumulates naturalia and artificialia and she spends her time filling and emptying her boxes or contemplating and rearranging her treasures. In an attempt to escape from her parents who are worried for her isolation, Emilia starts digging a hiding place amongst the profusion of objects until one day, digging deeper and deeper, she bumps into an ogre. Luckily, he has a terrible stomach ache and can’t eat her at the moment. The girl offers to cure him and goes down into his stomach…
The text by Ludovic Flamant is reflected and expanded by Emmanuelle Houdart’s dreamlike imagery, populated by creative anatomical details, hybrid creatures half-human and half-animal, bizarre monsters and all sorts of wonders. Each illustration is so richly detailed and full of symbols that it tells a story within the story, and as always the artist’s style is based on two-dimensional figures, the expressive use of colours (green and red are dominant here), and the unmistakable characters portrayed mostly in profile. #EmiliaMirabilia is a compelling tale of initiation, a journey inside ourselves at the end of which we can finally come out in the open and welcome the others.
“A lot of wonderful and terrible things happened in my life, as well as in everybody else’s. And this is what I draw, the wonderful and the terrible.”
Painter and illustrator Emmanuelle Houdart was born in Switzerland in 1967. After graduating from the École des Beaux-Arts in Sion and the École Supèrieure d’Arts Visuel in Geneva, she moved to Paris. Besides contributing to many newspapers and magazines (Libération, Le Monde, Sciences et Vie Junior, Ça m’intéresse… ), she published a dozen books as a writer and illustrator, and she illustrated about twenty children’s books. Her style is highly personal and characterized by the use of rich and sharp colours, outlining a fantastic though extremely real and tangible world.
In 2003 she won the Prix Octogone, category Prix Graphique (CIELJ), for Les Choses que je sais. Two years later she received an award for Monstres malades at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and in 2006 she won the Grand Prix du Livre Jeunesse of the Society of Men of Letters of France for Les Voyages merveilleux de Lilou la fée.
Her books for #logosedizioni are: Va tutto bene Merlino!, Amiche per la vita, Il denaro, Saltimbanchi, Il guardaroba, Genitori felici, Una lunga storia d’amore, Rifugi, Emilia Mirabilia and Mia madre.
Ludovic Flamant was born in Namur, Belgium, in 1978. He first caught public attention thanks to the Prix International Jeunes Auteurs, being placed second in the poetry section in 1995 and first in the short story section in 1996. These acknowledgements encouraged him to keep writing and to finish his first novel, Etre Vera, published by Les Editions de l’Hèbe in 2003. In 2002 he wrote the play Peep Show, performed in Namur by the Collectif des Passeurs. To this day he keeps writing poetry and plays for the theatre, although he has been writing mostly children’s books since 2005. His books have been published mainly by Pastel / L’école des loisirs, but also by Thierry Magnier, Pépin, and Fleurus.
#EmiliaMirabilia #ILLUSTRATI #logosedizioni