Little Eli is a dragonfly. He is alone. Exploring his surroundings he comes across objects that open possibilities for him to be creative and build dreams.
There is an almost dreamlike quality to Bellini’s delicate lines that captures both the gossamer fragility of the little dragonfly, the faded splendour of his surroundings, the nature of his dreams. But they are far from ephemeral; there is a subtle strength that mirrors Eli’s determination as he attempts to build a castle of cards, a tower of eggs, a pillar of pencils. His efforts look doomed to failure as the cards fall to the floor, the eggs crack and break, the pencils tumble down. However, that is not the end; out of each catastrophe comes something new and exciting. You just need imagination and perseverance.
Boxed together, these enchanting and intriguing books are a real gift. Their design is unusual – but perfectly captures the narrow space within which an insect operates – the corner of a room. There are tiny details to be explored – but without detracting from the spare subtlety of the whole. Eli – a dragonfly – is a real character; a child exploring his environment putting ideas into practice, following disappointment with a success that has taken a new direction. These are quiet books to be savoured alone or shared with another. They are books to stimulate not just conversation but visual literacies that are, perhaps, less familiar. Bellini is an artist to watch – and these are a welcome addition to the growing number of silent books appearing on the scene. Delightful, unconventional, desirable.
- Creativity can turn problems into something beautiful!
- Watch the Little Eli book trailers: Eggs, Pencils and Playing Cards
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