Spanish / Venezuela

La tía Berta
(Aunt Berta)

Márquez, Felipe (text)
Quintana, Jefferson (illus.)
Caracas: Camelia Ed., 2014. – 35 p.
ISBN 978-980-6450-51-6

Optimism | Zest for life | Aunt / Nephew

This small-format picture book is not leafed through from right to left , but instead from bottom to top, which fits wonderfully to the elevator that stands at the centre of the story. Tia Berta is the aunt of the story’s narrator, who reminisces about his childhood and the relative who emigrated from Europe to Venezuela after the Second World War. The book is an homage to this well-educated, book-loving woman, whose spirit remained unbroken through all blows of fate. Self-sufficient, confident, and positive, she works as an elevator attendant, even though such work does not get at her real talents. The elevator can be read as a symbol for life with all of its ups and downs, as Berta’s gravestone engraving attests: ≫Down, but up≪.

With artful collages and an unusually set text, this book is a further jewel in the line coming out of small publisher Camelia Ediciones, which has been enchanting readers for years with its original, well-edited picture books. (Age: 6+)