Book review: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy

Book Reviews

(En Français par ici!)

I received this book as a birthday gift this year, and I think it’s becoming a new favourite. This book is so beautiful, from beginning to end! Let me show you The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

As always, I completely judged this book by its cover and was enchanted to discover such expressive ink drawings. Most of them are in black and white but some have touches of watercolours. I love that most drawings look like they come straight from a sketchbook as it gives such a lively feel to each piece. I also really admired how the illustrator was able to covey so much in such simple drawings. It’s quite impressive!

Another really fascinating things about this book, is that the text is hand calligraphed throughout. I love how friendly and unique the handwriting is, and it really makes the book special. I really enjoyed that some letters were a bit messed-up, or that you could see where the ink split. It makes each page feel incredibly unique.

However, even though I love both the illustrations and hand lettering, it is the wisdom and sweetness of each characters that really caught my heart. The little boy is on a journey and has his friend the mole with him. Mole is obsessed with cakes and so wise. Along the way, they meet Fox, the silent but ever vigilant friend. Finally, the encounter Horse who is the biggest animal by far, but so kind. On each page, one of the animal shares a nugget of self-love, courage and kindness. It makes for such a heartwarming read!

In summary, run to the bookstore or your computer, and order a copy of this book! Reading it felt like a warm hug from a precious friend. Everything about the book is beautiful, comforting and inspiring. This would make for the perfect gift for all your relatives and friends. It’s the kind of book I see myself going back to when I’ll feel down or discouraged. I think kids and adults of all age will enjoy it and find something to observe and be fascinated with. And, if you are curious, visit Charlie’s portfolio: so much beauty and movement! It’s quite incredible! In any case, this is a book everyone needs to read and cherish.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy


 

Book review: L’enfant, la taupe, le renard et la cheval de Charlie Mackesy

J’ai reçu ce livre comme cadeau d’anniversaire cette année, et je pense qu’il est en train de devenir un nouveau favori. Ce livre est tellement beau, du début à la fin ! Laissez-moi vous montrer Le garçon, la taupe, le renard et le cheval de Charlie Mackesy.

Comme toujours, j’ai complètement jugé ce livre à sa couverture et j’ai été enchantée de découvrir des dessins à l’encre aussi expressifs. La plupart d’entre eux sont en noir et blanc mais certains ont des touches d’aquarelle. J’adore le fait que la plupart des dessins semblent tout droit sortis d’un carnet de croquis, car cela donne un aspect si vivant à chaque pièce. J’ai aussi beaucoup admiré la façon dont l’illustrateur a réussi à transmettre tant de choses dans des dessins aussi simples. C’est assez impressionnant !

Un autre aspect vraiment fascinant de ce livre est que le texte est calligraphié à la main tout au long du livre. J’adore l’aspect sympathique et unique de l’écriture, et cela rend le livre vraiment spécial. J’ai vraiment apprécié que certaines lettres soient un peu déformées, ou que l’on puisse voir où l’encre s’est séparée. Cela rend chaque page incroyablement unique.

Cependant, même si j’aime à la fois les illustrations et le lettrage à la main, c’est la sagesse et la douceur de chacun des personnages qui ont vraiment conquis mon cœur. Le petit garçon fait un voyage et a son ami la taupe avec lui. La taupe est obsédée par les gâteaux et est si sage. En chemin, ils rencontrent Renard, l’ami silencieux mais toujours vigilant. Enfin, ils rencontrent Cheval qui est de loin le plus gros animal, mais tellement gentil. À chaque page, l’un des animaux partage une pépite d’amour-propre, de courage et de gentillesse. C’est une lecture qui fait chaud au cœur !

En résumé, courez à la librairie ou à votre ordinateur, et commandez un exemplaire de ce livre ! Le lire m’a fait l’effet d’un câlin chaleureux de la part d’un ami précieux. Tout dans ce livre est beau, réconfortant et inspirant. Ce serait le cadeau idéal pour tous vos parents et amis. C’est le genre de livre auquel je me vois retourner lorsque je me sentirai déprimée ou découragée. Je pense que les enfants et les adultes de tous âges l’apprécieront et y trouveront matière à observation et à fascination. Et, si vous êtes curieux, visitez le portfolio de Charlie : tant de beauté et de mouvement ! C’est assez incroyable ! En tout cas, c’est un livre que tout le monde devrait lire et chérir.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy

Le Garçon, la taupe, le renard et le cheval, traduit en français aux éditions Les Arènes

Why Art?

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First, welcome to my website! I’m Anne, and I am an illustrator. How did I find myself here? Well, as far as I can remember, I always loved drawing and creating, making things, and looking at how they work. Growing up, I wanted to be a scientist. I came to believe that creativity was something everyone had. Creativity was to be kept as a side activity (if kept at all) and more serious matters were to be pursued as careers.

So I jumped all in. Most of my time was spent studying, and then working, but I would cut the tiniest sliver of time every week to draw or see an exhibition. I would plan drawing dates with myself on Friday nights, once the week of “serious” work was done. I would collect stationary and pencils for “the right project”. Everything I did felt odd or somewhat off, but I did the “adult” thing and carried on.

Until I fell from my horse.

Now, you might be thinking: “Oh, she means a metaphorical horse, like high horse or something!” Well, yes, but also from a real horse. See, I thought taking up horseback riding would bring me joy and fill me with the satisfaction that was missing from my job or studies. Well, it kinda did… until I fell and got a serious concussion.

So, lying in bed, feeling like my head was a cloud, I had all the time to reflect. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t work or study, and rest was all that was expected of me. So, I thought. And with all the limited brain power I had at that moment, I realized that I didn’t really want to be an engineer, teacher or kinesiologist. I didn’t love science. I did like teaching but being a teacher sucked most of the time (hello working conditions?!). All I wanted to do, like really wanted to do was art. I wanted to draw, to do calligraphy, to play music. Art became a central and crucial part of my recovery. The only times I felt good and myself were when I was drawing or playing with colours.

Now, I’m still recovering from this concussion. Some days, I feel like I’m never going to be back at my 100% performance. But, you know what? I’m so grateful for this opportunity to seize the day and make ART! Because art is central and crucial not only to me, but to humankind (Here I go again on that high horse of mine!). Art brings people pleasure, food for thought and comfort. It ties people together for magical moments. It adds joy to mundane things.

And so, yeah, I choose Art. I choose art because the world needs beauty. People need to see weird, beautiful, colourful creations because it soothes the heart. It brings warmth to a cold day. It gives hope. It tells stories that are not told any way else. Art inspires people to care.

Finally, because nature is full of beauty, colours, and shapes, it’s kinda the ultimate art piece. Plus, it’s an interactive one! Time spent in nature is always time well spent in my book. Trees, animals, plants bring me such inspiration. It breaks my heart to see developers cut down trees to build houses, to find plastic waste on almost every hike or walk I take, to know that animals are dying because of our treatment of their habitats. Because of this, I want to make art that is relevant to the natural world: create stories based on plants and animals, use materials that are sustainable, and shed light on how awesome and beautiful nature is. I truly believe that people can only take care of what they know. And right now, people need to know nature and see how incredible it is in order to feel called to action. I think art is the perfect platform for this. Art can bring awareness to untold situations. It can touch the heart in a way that is sensitive and soft. It links people together through shared experiences. Art inspires people to care.

Seriously, what could be more serious than that?