"To turn the pages of this book is to witness transformation in real time." —The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books List
Child of Glass follows Gisele, a fragile yet resilient girl who was born entirely made of glass. Sparkling and luminous, she attracts awe and attention from across the world. But as she is also completely transparent and her innermost thoughts and feelings are always on display, she also faces rejection and alienation. Gisele must, therefore, embark on a journey to find her place in the world. In sparse, poetic language marked by insight and realism, Child of Glass reminds us of the inner courage and capacity for self-realization we all possess.
Child of Glass is beautifully illustrated in a painterly, collaged style that also employs vellum pages to help create the transparent aspect of Gisele. This is a story of layers, textures, and transparencies in every sense and so the use of collage and vellum is really exceptional.
“To draw is to tell. Everyone who feels emotion has something to tell. Emotions keep on changing, growing, as children do. My drawings and stories change with them.” So says Beatrice Alemagna, who was born in Bologna, Italy in 1973. Alemagna has written and illustrated dozens of children’s books, which have received numerous awards and have been translated into fourteen languages. Alemagna’s The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy is also published by Enchanted Lion.
"Gisele's pain, articulated by double-page spreads of her wide, pale blue face shedding a multifaceted crystal tear through powerful vellum page turns, will feel acute and familiar to adolescents. Will reach both small and older readers struggling to conceal, manage, and express complicated inner worlds." —Kirkus Reviews
"Concept and form are mirrored in Beatrice Alemagna’s Child of Glass, as she uses both transparencies and traditional pages to tell the story of a fragile yet resilient girl. Alemagna’s layered and highly textured drawings create a powerful sense of fluidity between the interior and exterior worlds. To turn the pages of this book is to witness transformation in real time." The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books List
"A soulful meditation on how to live with our human fragility, [created] with great allegorical deftness and tenderness. … Here, the genius of the physical book steps in to magnify the sensitivity of the story with a syncopation of translucent and solid pages. Transparencies of Gisele’s face layer different mood-states. … The story resolves in a soulful reminder that there is no cure for our fragility — there is only the courage of not merely living with it but embracing it as a wellspring of the tenderness that makes life worth living." — Brain Pickings
“Alemagna’s story grapples with the dilemma of living a sensitive, authentic public life amid scrutiny and expectation, and her artwork fuses textured collage elements and dreamy, surrealist touches: birds reach to embrace Gisele with human hands, and she cries a tear like a cut diamond. Most inventive are representations of Gisele’s transparent head in leaves of translucent vellum, each page turn penetrating deeper into her mind. Though Gisele survives intact, without breaking, the ordeals she undergoes are sobering and universal.” —Publishers Weekly
“Life is hard for any child who is different—but for a child who is not only different but also transparent, enduring ridicule from others can be suffocating. ... Using an interesting mix of opaque and translucent pages, Gisele’s story is told both in words and images. Interestingly, Gisele is naked throughout the story while others around her are clothed, echoing the nakedness of her thoughts. The illustrations are created in a style of collage-abstraction, their varying colors and textures representing the world in a visually intriguing way. Though there is a moderate amount of text and some pages are devoid of words completely, the message the story sends will resonate deeply with readers of all ages. This book is a gentle introduction to the complexity of the internal human conflict of fitting in while also being true to oneself.” ―STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal
- New York Times Best Illustrated Book