by René Siegfried (translated by Joel Mann)
New York: Mark Batty, 2007.
In a last-minute bid to improve the ratio of books read to books bought for 2013, I am using the glory that is the post-Christmas pajama party to knock a few slim volumes off of my TBR shelves. I reorganized those shelves today, putting on the new books that were under the tree, and it felt great to handle all the bookish goodness that still awaits me. I had forgotten this lovely little book, too, so I am especially glad to have used precious pajama time organizing.
The Serif Fairy has lost her wing. Her left wing. Her magical wing, to be precise. She cannot fly without it, so she must journey on foot through forest, town and country to find it. Each location is built out of its own font, and the author matches perfectly the font to the setting. I marvel at his work on the Futura City:
Look at that helicopter!
This book was originally made as a project for a course in communications design, and the author’s design cred shines through. With remarkably little else in the way of colour or illustration, Siegfried populates and illustrates each page with images made entirely of letters in different sizes. At the end of the book, there is an answer key of sorts that tells you which letters are used in each image. Part of the fun of the illustrations, of course, is to figure that out for yourself. Adding to the fun, little critters hide on each page, and there is a prompt at the end of the book to go back and look for them.
But a delighted reader, young or old, will need no invitation to go back and look at these illustrations again and again and again.