A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

French / France

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Chevron Zerolo, Marie-France (text)
Magnan, Mathilde (illus.)
Paris: Éd. courtes et longues, 2015. – [40] p.
ISBN 978-2-35290-143-3

Differentness – Disability – Power of imagination – Picture book 

A young boy experiences the world very differently than the people in his village, who consider him crazy and who call him Fadoli, which in Provençal means “the one touched by fairies”. They suspect nothing of the boy’s imaginative power and abilities. For example, he can dive deeply into the natural world, just like an elf. There are wonders to discover everywhere: mountains resemble animal heads, large-stomached fish fly through the air, tiny rhinoceroses crawl at his feet. On dangerous cliffs he capers like a dare-devil and falls. But instead of feeling pain like others, he always experiences joy and laughs. This is the best book so far by the duo Chevron and Magnan, published by the engaged publishing house Éditions courtes et longues. It masterfully tells a story about being different without resorting to the usual stereotyping of cognitive difference as a kind of deficiency. With an artfully rhymed text and powerful, even hypnotic pictures, author and illustrator clearly stand in solidarity with Fadoli. (Age: 5+)