A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Portuguese / Portugal

O regresso
(Homecoming)

Chernysheva, Natalia (illus.)
Figueira da Foz: Bruaá, 2014. – [32] p.
ISBN 978-989-8166-25-8

Childhood – Memories – Home – Grandmother / Granddaughter –
Textless book – Picture book

When you return to the places of your childhood, they often seem surprisingly small. The past shrinks to the size of a doll’s house. That’s what the protagonist of this picture book experiences, when she visits her beloved grandmother in the countryside. She must feel like Jonathan Swift’s hero Gulliver in Lilliput. The grandmother, her house – everything is tiny and cute. Yet when the smells of a familiar dish tickle her nostrils, the young woman is immediately turned back into the small girl who cuddles with her granny on the wooden bench. Natalia Chernysheva depicts the power of memory without words, sensitively, tenderly, and without kitsch, cleverly picking up the theme of changing perception by playing with perspectives and proportions. The way in which she handles the visual storytelling, zooming in and zooming out of the pictures, betrays the Russian artist’s training as animation film maker. “O regresso” is in fact based on her animated short film “Le retour”, which was produced in 2013 at the animation film school La Poudrière in France. (Age: 5+)