Some of you may remember that last March I wrote about the new children’s book publisher Flying Eye Books. Launched in February of this year, the publisher’s first release was the fantastic Welcome to your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwarz. Three months on and they’ve put out three new titles, each one fantastically different and offering a great choice of reads for kids of any age. I was lucky enough to get my hands on these books and so I thought I’d share with you a little glimpse of what the guys at Flying Eye have been up to!
What stands out for me about these titles is just how distinct and unique each of them are. Unlike their first book, these releases have been previously published in a foreign language and it is clear to see that Flying Eye Books have done a great job at selecting the rights to some really fantastic work.
First up is Akissi. Originally a French-language comic, this book contains seven short stories about Akissi, a mischievous little girl who lives in Western Africa. Written by Marguerite Abouet (of Aya fame) and illustrated by Mathieu Sapin, Akissi is a really interesting look at African life. Kids are bound to love her adventures which range from getting a pet monkey, to a gross tale involving a tapeworm. Her stories paint a bright and colorful picture of African life and her mischief is truly universal!
Up next is Topsy Turvey World. Illustrated by the German illustrator Atak, this book is filled with bizarre and surreal paintings where everything has been swapped around. In Atak’s world mice chase cats and penguins live in the jungle. His paintings are crazy and strange, and kids will have plenty of fun guessing and learning about opposites. This wonderful wordless book will entertain adults just as much as young children and I must admit that I’ve never seen a book quite like Topsy Turvy World before!
Finally is the release of Monsters and Legends, an illustrated reference book for kids on the origin of monsters. Written by the Swiss-born Italian writer Davide Cali, the book unearths the facts behind the myths that make up some of our favorite monsters – from dragons and vampires to yetis and gremlins. It’s a great resource and Gabriella Giandelli’s illustrations really make the book come alive.
It would seem that Flying Eye Books have really hit the right tone with this new batch of releases. At a time when many people in the English-speaking world are criticizing the lack of foreign-language kids books being released in English (novelist David Almond most recently for example) its great to see such unusual and beautiful books being produced right now.
Currently all of these titles are available in the UK and Europe and a US release date is set for June. You can buy or pre-order them here: Akissi (UK/EUR/US), Topsy Turvy World (UK/EUR/US) and Monsters & Legends (UK/EUR/US). Further information can be found by visiting the Flying Eye Books site.