A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Spanish / Spain

Ícaro
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Delicado, Federico (text/illus.)
Pontevedra: Kalandraka, 2014. – [36] p.
ISBN 978-84-8464-886-4

Freedom – Flying – Metamorphosis –
Picture book

This mysterious, complex picture book tells a story in which everything remains open and quite literally in the air. In a hospital – it could also be a children’s home – no one wants to believe a boy that his parents have taken the shape of birds and flown away, after having promised him that they would come back for him. In the end, the boy also wears wings; but it remains unclear whether they will allow him to escape from his prison or whether he will fall from the sky like Icarus, who inspired the book’s title. The still, almost static illustrations, some of which recall the lonesome emptiness of Eward Hopper paintings, are spell-binding. The frigid grey of the home changes with the warm colours of memories of his parents and their happiness, when their wings made them sense the promise of freedom. The alternation between the bleakness of the home on the one hand and the melancholic serenity of memory as well as the anticipation of freedom on the other determine the rhythm of this book, which deeply touches its readers while keeping them at a distance.
(Age: 7+)